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Thermocapillary migration of a two-dimensional liquid droplet on a solid surface

  • Marc K. Smith (a1)

Abstract

A two-dimensional liquid droplet placed on a non-uniformly heated solid surface will move towards the region of colder temperatures if the temperature gradient in the solid surface is large enough. Such behaviour is analysed for a thin viscous droplet using lubrication theory to develop an evolution equation for the shape of the droplet. For the small mobility capillary numbers examined in this work, the contact-line motion is controlled by a dynamic relationship posed between the contact-line speed and the apparent contact angle. Results are obtained numerically and also approximately using a perturbation technique for small heating. The initial spreading or shrinking of the droplet when placed on the heated solid is biased toward the direction of decreasing temperature on the solid. Possible steady-state responses are either a motionless droplet or one moving at a constant velocity down the temperature gradient without change in shape. These behaviours are the result of a thermocapillary recirculation cell inside the droplet that distorts the free surface and alters the apparent contact angles. This change in the apparent contact angles then modifies the contact-line speed.

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Thermocapillary migration of a two-dimensional liquid droplet on a solid surface

  • Marc K. Smith (a1)

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