Bringing two miscible fluids into contact naturally generates strong gradients in surface tension. Here, we investigate such a Marangoni-driven flow by continuously supplying isopropyl alcohol (IPA) on a film of water, using micron-sized droplets of IPA-water mixtures. These droplets create a localized depression in surface tension that leads to the opening of a circular, thin region in the water film. At the edge of the thin region, there is a growing rim that collects the water of the film, reminiscent of Marangoni spreading due to locally deposited surfactants. In contrast to the surfactant case, the driving by IPA-water drops gives rise to a dynamics of the thin zone that is independent of the initial layer thickness. The radius grows as r ∼ t 1/2, which can be explained from a balance between Marangoni and viscous stresses. We derive a scaling law that accurately predicts the influence of the IPA flux as well as the thickness of the thin film at the interior of the spreading front.
Hernandez Sanchez, J. F., Eddi, A. C. A., & Snoeijer, J. H. (2015). Marangoni spreading due to a localized alcohol supply on a thin water. Physics of fluids, 27(3), 032003-. . https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4915283