Electrospray deposition (ESD) uses charged droplets at the micro- and nano-scale to create a wide variety of particles and coatings. In ESD, an electrostatic force is applied to a solution, which then disperses charged droplets loaded with the materials to be deposited on a grounded target. Because the droplets carry charge, repulsive effects due to accumulation of charge in a coating (self-limiting electrospray) or “crowding” of the spray droplets can reduce the efficiency of the approach. This is especially the case when the targets are smaller than the characteristic size of the spray plume. For this reason, while many studies have presumed high efficiency in ESD, the actual measured efficiencies for small targets are much lower. Here, it is shown how architecting the local “charge landscape” can lead to ESD coatings approaching 100% deposition efficiency on both flat and microneedle array targets composed of multiple model materials, including biocompatible polymers, proteins, and bioactive small molecules. In this way, ESD can be considered a viable alternative to other conformal approaches, such as dip or inkjet coating.
Contains the table of spray conditions and additional HPLC and ELISA data.