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Marangoni-driven instabilities of an evaporating liquid-vapor interface

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Original languageEnglish
Article number056302
Number of pages8
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2005


Marangoni-driven instabilities of a liquid-vapor interface of ethanol formed in a horizontally oriented capillary tube of 600 mu m diameter are described. Instabilities of the interface are reported as well as instabilities of the liquid flow underneath the meniscus. The experimental results consist of visual observation of the interface, microscale particle image velocimetry measurements of the liquid flow and ir temperature measurements of the interface. The instabilities are found in both the flow structure and the interfacial temperature which present a periodic oscillatory pattern with a characteristic frequency of about 5 Hz. The interface also oscillates periodically, having a characteristic frequency of about 1.4 Hz. The differential evaporative cooling along the extended meniscus in the triple-line region produces a temperature difference which sustains the liquid-thermocapillary Marangoni-driven convection. A linear stability analysis based on a one-sided model, modified to take into account evaporation, is used to show that the self-induced temperature difference at the triple-line region is responsible for the observed interfacial instabilities. The instabilities in the flow pattern are due to competition between the surface tension driving force and gravity and are also found to be influenced by the meniscus instabilities.

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