Marangoni Flow in Freely Suspended Liquid Films

T. Trittel, K. Harth, C. Klopp, R. Stannarius

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2 Citations (Scopus)
33 Downloads (Pure)


We demonstrate controlled material transport driven by temperature differences in thin freely suspended smectic films. Films with submicrometer thicknesses and lateral extensions of several millimeters were studied in microgravity during suborbital rocket flights. In-plane temperature differences cause two specific Marangoni effects, directed flow and convection patterns. At low gradients, practically thresholdless, flow transports material with a normal (negative) temperature coefficient of the surface tension dσ/dT<0 from the hot to the cold film edge, it accumulates at the cold film edge. In materials with dσ/dT>0, the reverse transport from the cold to the hot edge is observed. We present a model that describes the effect quantitatively. It predicts that not the temperature gradient in the film plane but the temperature difference between the thermopads is relevant for the effect.

Original languageEnglish
Article number234501
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2019


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