Solutal Marangoni flow as the cause of ring stains from drying salty colloidal drops

Alvaro Marin*, Stefan Karpitschka, Diego Noguera-Marín, Miguel A. Cabrerizo-Vílchez, Massimiliano Rossi, Christian J. Kähler, Miguel A. Rodríguez Valverde

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)
162 Downloads (Pure)


Evaporating salty droplets are ubiquitous in nature, in our home and in the laboratory. Interestingly, the transport processes in such apparently simple systems differ strongly from evaporating "freshwater" droplets since convection is partly inverted due to Marangoni stresses. Such an effect has crucial consequences to the salt crystallization process and to the deposits left behind. In this work we show unprecedented measurements that, not only confirm clearly the flow inversion, but also elucidate their impact on the distribution of nonvolatile solutes. Contrary to what has been often reported in the literature, such a flow reversal does not prevent the formation of ring-shaped stains: particles accumulate at the contact line driven solely by the interfacial flow. We can therefore conclude that the classical "coffee-stain effect" is not the only mechanism that can generate ring-shaped stains in evaporating droplets.

Original languageEnglish
Article number041601
JournalPhysical review fluids
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2019


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