The mechanism of particle formation from submicrometer emulsion droplets by solvent evaporation is revisited. A combination of dynamic light scattering, fluorescence resonance energy transfer, zeta potential measurements, and fluorescence cross-correlation spectroscopy is used to analyze the colloids during the evaporation process. It is shown that a combination of different methods yields reliable and quantitative data for describing the fate of the droplets during the process. The results indicate that coalescence plays a minor role during the process; the relatively large size distribution of the obtained polymer colloids can be explained by the droplet distribution after their formation.
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