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Keywords:

  • “coffee rings”;
  • colloids;
  • controlled evaporation;
  • surface patterning
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Not your cup of tea? “Coffee rings” of spherical colloidal particles are left behind after water droplets resting on surfaces have dried out. This controlled evaporation of colloidal solutions can be exploited to deposit material in regular patterns (see picture). It is now shown that if spherical colloids are replaced by slightly elongated ones, the coffee ring is not formed and is replaced by an even more uniform deposition.