Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Chemical and Materials Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Fuqian Yang


Various techniques of fabricating surface patterns of small scales have been widely studied due to the potential applications of surface patterns in a variety of areas. It is a challenge to fabricate well-ordered surface area efficiently and economically. Evaporation-induced surface patterning is a promising approach to fabricate well-ordered surface patterns over a large area at low cost. In this study, the evaporation-induced surface patterns with controllable geometrical characteristics have been constructed. The dewetting kinetics on deformable substrate is also investigated.

Using simple templates to control the geometry and the evaporation behavior of a droplet of volatile solvent, various gradient surface patterns, such as concentric rings, multiple straight stripes formed with a straight copper wire, etc. have been constructed on PMMA films. The wavelength and amplitude are found to decreases with the decrease of the distance to the objects used in templates. There is also a nearly linear relation between the amplitude and wavelength. The effects of several experimental parameters on the geometrical characteristics of the surface structures are studied, i.e. dimensions of the template, film thickness (solution concentration), substrate temperature, etc. The wavelength and amplitude increase with the increase of the film thickness (solution concentration), with the increase of the dimension of the template. However with the increase of the substrate temperature, the wavelength increases, while the amplitude decrease. Hexagonal network in pre-cast PMMA film have been fabricated by a “breath figure” approach at low humidity and low substrate temperature. The dimensions of the hexagonal holes are dependent on the template size and film thickness.

The kinetics of the evaporative dewetting of a liquid (toluene) film on a deformable substrate (PMMA film) with the confinement of a circular copper ring is also studied. The liquid film first dewets from the outside towards the copper ring. When a critical volume is reached, an internal contact line appears, which dewets from the center to the copper ring smoothly with a constant velocity, then switches to a “stick-slip” motion. The average velocity of the smooth motion increases with the increase of the copper ring size and film thickness.