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Abstract

Thin droplets spreading on a solid substrate are investigated, with a special focus on temperature effects. The aim is to manipulate the fingering instability which may occur in the spreading in a spin coating process. The analysis bases on lubrication approximation, valid for flat thin droplets, which usually is the case. The dynamic of the wetting is implemented by using a generalized law of Tanner, coupling the contact angle (CA) of the droplet at the (apparent) contact line (CL) with its speed. A one-way coupling is used to investigate, whether viscous heating has to be taken into account. It can be derived that its role is negligible in the spreading process of a thin droplet, even for a relatively large viscous influence (large capillary number). Analyzing the results of a linear stability analysis of the fingering instability and taking Marangoni-stresses (MS) into account reveals, that the instability may be suppressed by cooling the ambient gas or heating the substrate during the spreading. Unfortunately an comparison with experiments for spreading droplets in a heated gas shows deviations for larger spreading radii. The influence of temperature on density is investigated and on the way a criteria, from which it may be obtained whether a simple Boussinesq-approximation (BA) is appropriate or not. (© 2012 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)