Porous supraparticle assembly through self-lubricating evaporating colloidal ouzo drops

Huanshu Tan, Sanghyuk Wooh (Corresponding Author), Hans Jürgen Butt, Xuehua Zhang (Corresponding Author), Detlef Lohse* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)
58 Downloads (Pure)


The assembly of colloidal particles from evaporating suspension drops is seen as a versatile route for the fabrication of supraparticles for various applications. However, drop contact line pining leads to uncontrolled shapes of the emerging supraparticles, hindering this technique. Here we report how the pinning problem can be overcome by self-lubrication. The colloidal particles are dispersed in ternary drops (water, ethanol, and anise-oil). As the ethanol evaporates, oil microdroplets form (‘ouzo effect’). The oil microdroplets coalesce and form an oil ring at the contact line, levitating the evaporating colloidal drop (‘self-lubrication’). Then the water evaporates, leaving behind a porous supraparticle, which easily detaches from the surface. The dispersed oil microdroplets act as templates, leading to multi-scale, fractal-like structures inside the supraparticle. Employing this method, we could produce a large number of supraparticles with tunable shapes and high porosity on hydrophobic surfaces.

Original languageEnglish
Article number478
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jan 2019


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