Flow visualization and solute transport in evaporating droplets



We have investigated the velocity field and associated particle transport in an evaporating water droplet using the tool of particle image velocimetry. Experiments were performed where single droplets containing polystyrene particles were exposed to evaporation. Our method applicable to droplets confined between two parallel surfaces differs from the conventional PIV techniques on the 3D droplets and removes many of the limitations associated with mapping of velocity field. To avoid refraction of light at the droplet surface we have studied the motion in a disc-shaped droplet which was prepared by confining the drop between two nonwetting surfaces and its base is pinned to a wetting surface. Experiments were carried out under the conditions where Marangoni flow creates convection cells and finally leading to deposition of particles toward the pinned edge. The contact angle, height of the droplet, velocity field, and the particle concentration inside the evaporating droplet was measured and its time evolution was recorded. © 2009 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 56: 1674–1683, 2010