The flow characteristics of an evaporating ethanol water mixture droplet on a glass substrate

Yoshinori Hamamoto, John R.E. Christy, Khellil Sefiane

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Droplet evaporation has attracted much interest recently, being relevant to a wide range of biological and technological applications. The underlying mechanisms for this phenomenon are still poorly understood. We report on experimental results, from micro-Particle Image Velocimetry (μPIV), of the spatial and temporal velocity field within pure water and ethanol-water mixture droplets evaporating on a glass substrate. The drop profile, evaporation rate and surface temperature were also measured. For pure water droplets, the redial velocity is found to exhibit a maximum spatially towards the three-phase contact line and to increase dramatically towards the end of the drop lifetime. For ethanol-water droplets, three flow phases of (I) vortical flow, (II) transient flow and (III) radial flow were observed. Phase I has vortices, driven, we believe, by concentration differences arising during the preferential evaporation of ethanol. Phase II sees an exponential decay in vorticity with remaining vortices migrating towards the contact line, accompanied by the formation of one large toroidal vortex, possibly due to ethanol depletion at the apex of the drop leading to a surface tension instability. Phase III is characterized by radial flow towards the contact line, matching the evaporative flux and identical to the flow measured for pure water.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-436
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Thermal Science and Technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • General Materials Science
  • Instrumentation
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)


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