We consider the time evolution of a sessile drop of volatile partially wetting liquid on a rigid solid substrate. The drop evaporates under strong confinement, namely, it sits on one of the two parallel plates that form a narrow gap. First, we develop an efficient mesoscopic long-wave description in gradient dynamics form. It couples the diffusive dynamics of the vertically averaged vapour density in the narrow gap to an evolution equation for the profile of the volatile drop. The underlying free energy functional incorporates wetting, interface and bulk energies of the liquid and gas entropy. The model allows us to investigate the transition between diffusion-limited and phase transition-limited evaporation for shallow droplets. Its gradient dynamics character allows for a long-wave as well as a full-curvature formulation. Second, we compare results obtained with the mesoscopic long-wave model to corresponding direct numerical simulations solving the Stokes equation for the drop coupled to the diffusion equation for the vapour as well as to selected experiments. In passing, we discuss the influence of contact line pinning.
- lubrication theory