What does ink-jet printing and delivery of pesticides have in common? Both processes require a proper wetting of surfaces, which for those applications, is intrinsically related to a phenomenon known as superspreading. This phenomenon is typical of some trisiloxane surfactants, whose solutions are capable to rapidly spread over hydrophobic surfaces. Despite the numerous studies covering this topic in the last 30 years, there is no agreement within the scientific community on a single mechanism that explains how superspreading works.
The aim of this project is to understand the superspreading mechanism by studying the drop spreading of two different trisiloxane surfactants on hydrophobic surfaces using quantum dots as tracers. In an attempt to control nanoparticle deposition and pattern formation, different environmental conditions (temperature and humidity) will be also examined. The results obtained will be useful not only to have a better understanding of the superspreading phenomenon itself, but also to develop more efficient agrochemical formulations, for instance.
European Commission, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, Innovative Training Network