Using micro-PIV (particle image velocimetry), we observe for the first time, the direct correlation between crystallization and hydrodynamics in evaporating microliter saline (1 M NaCl) sessile drops. The relationship is demonstrated by a remarkable jet of liquid along the base of the drops, induced by, and directed at the point of nucleation and subsequent crystal growth. Prior to nucleation, the flow is more uniformly outward with the magnitude of the velocity decreasing with time. From calculations and the flow measurements in the two observed stages of evaporation (prior to nucleation and during crystallization), this jet can be explained on the basis of competition between solutal Marangoni convection and mass conservation flow. The jet of fluid leads to vortices on either side of the crystal in which the salt concentration is reduced, providing a potential explanation as to why NaCl deposits as a sequence of discrete crystals rather than as a continuous ring for such drops.
- Velocimetry PIV