Publications / SAND Report

Drying/self-assembly of nanoparticle suspensions

Grest, Gary S.; Cheng, Shengfeng C.; Lechman, Jeremy B.; Plimpton, Steven J.

The most feasible way to disperse particles in a bulk material or control their packing at a substrate is through fluidization in a carrier that can be processed with well-known techniques such as spin, drip and spray coating, fiber drawing, and casting. The next stage in the processing is often solidification involving drying by solvent evaporation. While there has been significant progress in the past few years in developing discrete element numerical methods to model dense nanoparticle dispersion/suspension rheology which properly treat the hydrodynamic interactions of the solvent, these methods cannot at present account for the volume reduction of the suspension due to solvent evaporation. As part of LDRD project FY-101285 we have developed and implemented methods in the current suite of discrete element methods to remove solvent particles and volume, and hence solvent mass from the liquid/vapor interface of a suspension to account for volume reduction (solvent drying) effects. To validate the methods large scale molecular dynamics simulations have been carried out to follow the evaporation process at the microscopic scale.