Interfacial flows in sessile evaporating droplets of mineral water

Massimiliano Rossi*, Alvaro Marin, Christian J. Kähler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
51 Downloads (Pure)


Liquid flow in sessile evaporating droplets of ultrapure water typically results from two main contributions: a capillary flow pushing the liquid toward the contact line from the bulk and a thermal Marangoni flow pulling the drop free surface toward the summit. Current analytical and numerical models are in good qualitative agreement with experimental observations; however, they overestimate the interfacial velocity values by two to three orders of magnitude. This discrepancy is generally ascribed to contamination of the water samples with nonsoluble surfactants; however, an experimental confirmation of this assumption has not yet been provided. In this work, we show that a small "ionic contamination" can cause a significant effect in the flow pattern inside the droplet. To provide the proof, we compare the flow in evaporating droplets of ultrapure water with commercially available bottled water of different mineralization levels. Mineral waters are bottled at natural springs, are microbiologically pure, and contain only traces of minerals (as well as traces of other possible contaminants), and therefore one would expect a slower interfacial flow as the amount of "contaminants" increase. Surprisingly, our results show that the magnitude of the interfacial flow is practically the same for mineral waters with low content of minerals as that of ultrapure water. However, for waters with larger content of minerals, the interfacial flow tends to slow down due to the presence of ionic concentration gradients. Our results show a much more complex scenario than it has been typically suspected and therefore a deeper and more comprehensive analysis of the huge differences between numerical models and experiments is necessary.

Original languageEnglish
Article number033103
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sep 2019

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Interfacial flows in sessile evaporating droplets of mineral water'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this