Asymptotic theory for a Leidenfrost drop on a liquid pool

Michiel A.J. Van Limbeek* (Corresponding Author), Benjamin Sobac, Alexey Rednikov, Pierre Colinet, Jacco H. Snoeijer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
48 Downloads (Pure)


Droplets can be levitated by their own vapour when placed onto a superheated plate (the Leidenfrost effect). It is less known that the Leidenfrost effect can likewise be observed over a liquid pool (superheated with respect to the drop), which is the study case here. Emphasis is placed on an asymptotic analysis in the limit of small evaporation numbers, which indeed proves to be a realistic one for millimetric-sized drops (i.e. where the radius of the drop is of the order of the capillary length). The global shapes are found to resemble 'superhydrophobic drops' that follow from the equilibrium between capillarity and gravity. However, the morphology of the thin vapour layer between the drop and the pool is very different from that of classical Leidenfrost drops over a flat rigid substrate, and exhibits different scaling laws. We determine analytical expressions for the vapour thickness as a function of temperature and material properties, which are confirmed by numerical solutions. Surprisingly, we show that deformability of the pool suppresses the chimney instability of Leidenfrost drops.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1157-1189
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of fluid mechanics
Publication statusPublished - 25 Mar 2019


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • drops
  • lubrication theory
  • condensation/evaporation


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