Adaptive Chemical Networks under Non-Equilibrium Conditions : The Evaporating Droplet

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13450-13454
Journal / PublicationAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number43
Online published26 Sep 2016
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2016
Externally publishedYes


Non-volatile solutes in an evaporating drop experience an out-of-equilibrium state due to non-linear concentration effects and complex flow patterns. Here, we demonstrate a small molecule chemical reaction network that undergoes a rapid adaptation response to the out-of-equilibrium conditions inside the droplet leading to control over the molecular constitution and spatial arrangement of the deposition pattern. Adaptation results in a pronounced coffee stain effect and coupling to chemical concentration gradients within the drop is demonstrated. Amplification and suppression of network species are readily identifiable with confocal fluorescence microscopy. We anticipate that these observations will contribute to the design and exploration of out-of-equilibrium chemical systems, as well as be useful towards the development of point-of-care medical diagnostics and controlled deposition of small molecules through inkjet printing.

Research Area(s)

  • chemical reaction networks, coffee stain effect, droplet, imines, non-equilibrium