Marangoni Instability of a Drop in a Stably Stratified Liquid

Yanshen Li*, Christian Diddens, Andrea Prosperetti, Detlef Lohse*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
81 Downloads (Pure)


Marangoni instabilities can emerge when a liquid interface is subjected to a concentration or temperature gradient. It is generally believed that for these instabilities bulk effects like buoyancy are negligible compared to interfacial forces, especially on small scales. Consequently, the effect of a stable stratification on the Marangoni instability has hitherto been ignored. Here, however, we show that they can matter. We report, for an immiscible drop immersed in a stably stratified ethanol-water mixture, a new type of oscillatory solutal Marangoni instability that is triggered once the stratification has reached a critical value. We experimentally explore the parameter space spanned by the stratification strength and the drop size and theoretically explain the observed crossover from levitating to bouncing by balancing the advection and diffusion around the drop. Finally, the effect of the stable stratification on the Marangoni instability is surprisingly strongly amplified in confined geometries, leading to an earlier onset.

Original languageEnglish
Article number124502
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2021


  • 2024 OA procedure


Dive into the research topics of 'Marangoni Instability of a Drop in a Stably Stratified Liquid'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this