Xu, Xinpeng; Qian, Tiezheng(Physical Review E, American Physical Society (APS), 2012-05-11)[Article]
Droplet motion on solid substrates has been widely studied not only because of its importance in fundamental research but also because of its promising potentials in droplet-based devices developed for various applications in chemistry, biology, and industry. In this paper, we investigate the motion of an evaporating droplet in one-component fluids on a solid substrate with a wettability gradient. As is well known, there are two major difficulties in the continuum description of fluid flows and heat fluxes near the contact line of droplets on solid substrates, namely, the hydrodynamic (stress) singularity and thermal singularity. To model the droplet motion, we use the dynamic van der Waals theory [Phys. Rev. E 75, 036304 (2007)] for the hydrodynamic equations in the bulk region, supplemented with the boundary conditions at the fluid-solid interface. In this continuum hydrodynamic model, various physical processes involved in the droplet motion can be taken into account simultaneously, e.g., phase transitions (evaporation or condensation), capillary flows, fluid velocity slip, and substrate cooling or heating. Due to the use of the phase field method (diffuse interface method), the hydrodynamic and thermal singularities are resolved automatically. Furthermore, in the dynamic van der Waals theory, the evaporation or condensation rate at the liquid-gas interface is an outcome of the calculation rather than a prerequisite as in most of the other models proposed for evaporating droplets. Numerical results show that the droplet migrates in the direction of increasing wettability on the solid substrates. The migration velocity of the droplet is found to be proportional to the wettability gradients as predicted by Brochard [Langmuir 5, 432 (1989)]. The proportionality coefficient is found to be linearly dependent on the ratio of slip length to initial droplet radius. These results indicate that the steady migration of the droplets results from the balance between the (conservative) driving force due to the wettability gradient and the (dissipative) viscous drag force. In addition, we study the motion of droplets on cooled or heated solid substrates with wettability gradients. The fast temperature variations from the solid to the fluid can be accurately described in the present approach. It is observed that accompanying the droplet migration, the contact lines move through phase transition and boundary velocity slip with their relative contributions mostly determined by the slip length. The results presented in this paper may lead to a more complete understanding of the droplet motion driven by wettability gradients with a detailed picture of the fluid flows and phase transitions in the vicinity of the moving contact line.
Xu, Xinpeng; Qian, Tiezheng(Physical Review E, American Physical Society (APS), 2013-04-24)[Article]
Using the dynamic van der Waals theory [Phys. Rev. E 75, 036304 (2007)], we numerically investigate the hydrodynamics of Leidenfrost droplets under gravity in two dimensions. Some recent theoretical predictions and experimental observations are confirmed in our simulations. A Leidenfrost droplet larger than a critical size is shown to be unstable and break up into smaller droplets due to the Rayleigh-Taylor instability of the bottom surface of the droplet. Our simulations demonstrate that an evaporating Leidenfrost droplet changes continuously from a puddle to a circular droplet, with the droplet shape controlled by its size in comparison with a few characteristic length scales. The geometry of the vapor layer under the droplet is found to mainly depend on the droplet size and is nearly independent of the substrate temperature, as reported in a recent experimental study [Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 074301 (2012)]. Finally, our simulations demonstrate that a Leidenfrost droplet smaller than a characteristic size takes off from the hot substrate because the levitating force due to evaporation can no longer be balanced by the weight of the droplet, as observed in a recent experimental study [Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 034501 (2012)].
Xu, Xinpeng; Qian, Tiezheng(Physical Review E, American Physical Society (APS), 2014-06-04)[Article]
We numerically investigate the pool boiling of one-component fluids with a focus on the effects of surface wettability on the single-bubble dynamics. We employed the dynamic van der Waals theory [Phys. Rev. E 75, 036304 (2007)], a diffuse-interface model for liquid-vapor flows involving liquid-vapor transition in nonuniform temperature fields. We first perform simulations for bubbles on homogeneous surfaces. We find that an increase in either the contact angle or the surface superheating can enhance the bubble spreading over the heating surface and increase the bubble departure diameter as well and therefore facilitate the transition into film boiling. We then examine the dynamics of bubbles on patterned surfaces, which incorporate the advantages of both hydrophobic and hydrophilic surfaces. The central hydrophobic region increases the thermodynamic probability of bubble nucleation while the surrounding hydrophilic region hinders the continuous bubble spreading by pinning the contact line at the hydrophobic-hydrophilic intersection. This leads to a small bubble departure diameter and therefore prevents the transition from nucleate boiling into film boiling. With the bubble nucleation probability increased and the bubble departure facilitated, the efficiency of heat transfer on such patterned surfaces is highly enhanced, as observed experimentally [Int. J. Heat Mass Transfer 57, 733 (2013)]. In addition, the stick-slip motion of contact line on patterned surfaces is demonstrated in one-component fluids, with the effect weakened by surface superheating.
Xu, Xinpeng; Qian, Tiezheng(Physical Review E, American Physical Society (APS), 2012-06-26)[Article]
Using a continuum model capable of describing the one-component liquid-gas hydrodynamics down to the contact line scale, we carry out numerical simulation and physical analysis for the droplet motion driven by thermal singularity. For liquid droplets in one-component fluids on heated or cooled substrates, the liquid-gas interface is nearly isothermal. Consequently, a thermal singularity occurs at the contact line and the Marangoni effect due to temperature gradient is suppressed. Through evaporation or condensation in the vicinity of the contact line, the thermal singularity makes the contact angle increase with the increasing substrate temperature. This effect on the contact angle can be used to move the droplets on substrates with thermal gradients. Our numerical results for this kind of droplet motion are explained by a simple fluid dynamical model at the droplet length scale. Since the mechanism for droplet motion is based on the change of contact angle, a separation of length scales is exhibited through a comparison between the droplet motion induced by a wettability gradient and that by a thermal gradient. It is shown that the flow field at the droplet length scale is independent of the statics or dynamics at the contact line scale.
Xu, Xinpeng; Qian, Tiezheng(The Journal of Chemical Physics, AIP Publishing, 2010-11-30)[Article]
In two-phase flows, the interface intervening between the two fluid phases intersects the solid wall at the contact line. A classical problem in continuum fluid mechanics is the incompatibility between the moving contact line and the no-slip boundary condition, as the latter leads to a nonintegrable stress singularity. Recently, various diffuse-interface models have been proposed to explain the contact line motion using mechanisms missing from the sharp-interface treatments in fluid mechanics. In one-component two-phase (liquid–gas) systems, the contact line can move through the mass transport across the interface while in two-component (binary) fluids, the contact line can move through diffusive transport across the interface. While these mechanisms alone suffice to remove the stress singularity, the role of fluid slip at solid surface needs to be taken into account as well. In this paper, we apply the diffuse-interface modeling to the study of contact line motion in one-component liquid–gas systems, with the fluid slip fully taken into account. The dynamic van der Waals theory has been presented for one-component fluids, capable of describing the two-phase hydrodynamics involving the liquid–gas transition [A. Onuki, Phys. Rev. E 75, 036304 (2007)]. This theory assumes the local equilibrium condition at the solid surface for density and also the no-slip boundary condition for velocity. We use its hydrodynamicequations to describe the continuum hydrodynamics in the bulk region and derive the more general boundary conditions by introducing additional dissipative processes at the fluid–solid interface. The positive definiteness of entropy production rate is the guiding principle of our derivation. Numerical simulations based on a finite-difference algorithm have been carried out to investigate the dynamic effects of the newly derived boundary conditions, showing that the contact line can move through both phase transition and slip, with their relative contributions determined by a competition between the two coexisting mechanisms in terms of entropy production. At temperatures very close to the critical temperature, the phase transition is the dominant mechanism, for the liquid–gas interface is wide and the density ratio is close to 1. At low temperatures, the slip effect shows up as the slip length is gradually increased. The observed competition can be interpreted by the Onsager principle of minimum entropy production
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