The dissolution of a single droplet, containing a mixture of oils, in water is experimentally studied. The oils in the droplet varied in terms of their solubility in water and their hydrophobicity. We demonstrate that the polarity of the droplet constituents strongly influences the dissolution dynamics. A binary-component droplet, containing two polar components (one soluble the other insoluble) exhibits a retarded dissolution as compared to a droplet containing only the soluble component. We argue that in this case the mixture in the droplet can be assumed homogeneous, leading to a smaller effective contact area of the soluble liquid in the droplet with the bulk water, and thus delayed dissolution. On the other hand, it is shown that this is not the case when a polar, soluble component is mixed with an insoluble non-polar component, in which case segregation between the different liquids inside the droplet occurs, leading to Marangoni flows and superspreading of the droplet. The segregation is confirmed by volumetric measurements and by the use of a solvatochromic dye in combination with confocal microscopy, which clearly showed that during dissolution local concentration differences inside the droplet developed.
- drops and bubbles