Droplets abound in nature and technology. In general, they are multicomponent, and, when out of equilibrium, have gradients in concentration, implying flow and mass transport. Moreover, phase transitions can occur, in the form of evaporation, solidification, dissolution or nucleation of a new phase. The droplets and their surrounding liquid can be binary, ternary or contain even more components, with several in different phases. Since the early 2000s, rapid advances in experimental and numerical fluid dynamical techniques have enabled major progress in our understanding of the physicochemical hydrodynamics of such droplets, further narrowing the gap from fluid dynamics to chemical engineering and colloid and interfacial science, arriving at a quantitative understanding of multicomponent and multiphase droplet systems far from equilibrium, and aiming towards a one-to-one comparison between experiments and theory or numerics. This Perspective discusses examples of the physicochemical hydrodynamics of droplet systems far from equilibrium and the relevance of such systems for applications.
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