Final fate of a Leidenfrost droplet: Explosion or takeoff

Sijia Lyu, Varghese Mathai, Yujie Wang, Benjamin Sobac, Pierre Colinet, Detlef Lohse, Chao Sun*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Abstract

When a liquid droplet is placed on a very hot solid, it levitates on its own vapor layer, a phenomenon called the Leidenfrost effect. Although themechanisms governing the droplet's levitation have been explored, not much is known about the fate of the Leidenfrost droplet. Here we report on the final stages of evaporation of Leidenfrost droplets. While initially small droplets tend to take off, unexpectedly, the initially large ones explode with a crack sound. We interpret these in the context of unavoidable droplet contaminants, which accumulate at the dropletair interface, resulting in reduced evaporation rate, and contact with the substrate. We validate this hypothesis by introducing controlled amounts ofmicroparticles and reveal a universal 1/3-scaling law for the dimensionless explosion radius versus contaminant fraction. Our findings open up new opportunities for controlling the duration and rate of Leidenfrost heat transfer and propulsion by tuning the droplet's size and contamination.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereaav8081
JournalScience Advances
Volume5
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2019

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takeoff
contaminants
explosions
evaporation rate
levitation
propulsion
scaling laws
contamination
cracks
heat transfer
tuning
evaporation
vapors
radii
acoustics
liquids

Cite this

Lyu, Sijia ; Mathai, Varghese ; Wang, Yujie ; Sobac, Benjamin ; Colinet, Pierre ; Lohse, Detlef ; Sun, Chao. / Final fate of a Leidenfrost droplet : Explosion or takeoff. In: Science Advances. 2019 ; Vol. 5, No. 5.
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Final fate of a Leidenfrost droplet : Explosion or takeoff. / Lyu, Sijia; Mathai, Varghese; Wang, Yujie; Sobac, Benjamin; Colinet, Pierre; Lohse, Detlef; Sun, Chao.

In: Science Advances, Vol. 5, No. 5, eaav8081, 05.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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T2 - Explosion or takeoff

AU - Lyu, Sijia

AU - Mathai, Varghese

AU - Wang, Yujie

AU - Sobac, Benjamin

AU - Colinet, Pierre

AU - Lohse, Detlef

AU - Sun, Chao

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AB - When a liquid droplet is placed on a very hot solid, it levitates on its own vapor layer, a phenomenon called the Leidenfrost effect. Although themechanisms governing the droplet's levitation have been explored, not much is known about the fate of the Leidenfrost droplet. Here we report on the final stages of evaporation of Leidenfrost droplets. While initially small droplets tend to take off, unexpectedly, the initially large ones explode with a crack sound. We interpret these in the context of unavoidable droplet contaminants, which accumulate at the dropletair interface, resulting in reduced evaporation rate, and contact with the substrate. We validate this hypothesis by introducing controlled amounts ofmicroparticles and reveal a universal 1/3-scaling law for the dimensionless explosion radius versus contaminant fraction. Our findings open up new opportunities for controlling the duration and rate of Leidenfrost heat transfer and propulsion by tuning the droplet's size and contamination.

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Lyu S, Mathai V, Wang Y, Sobac B, Colinet P, Lohse D et al. Final fate of a Leidenfrost droplet: Explosion or takeoff. Science Advances. 2019 May;5(5). eaav8081. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aav8081