Marangoni-flow-induced partial coalescence of a droplet on a liquid/air interface

Kai Sun, Peng Zhang, Zhizhao Che, Tianyou Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The coalescence of a droplet and a liquid/air interface of lower surface tension was numerically studied by using the lattice Boltzmann phase-field method. The experimental phenomenon of droplet ejection observed by Blanchette et al. [Phys. Fluids 21, 072107 (2009)10.1063/1.3177339] at sufficiently large surface tension differences was successfully reproduced for the first time. Furthermore, the emergence, disappearance, and re-emergence of "partial coalescence" with increasing surface tension difference was observed and explained. The re-emergence of partial coalescence under large surface tension differences is caused by the remarkable lifting motion of the Marangoni flow, which significantly retards the vertical collapse. Two different modes of partial coalescence were identified by the simulation, namely peak injection occurs at lower Ohnesorge numbers and bottom pinch-off at higher Ohnesorge numbers. By comparing the characteristic timescales of the upward Marangoni flow with that of the downward flow driven by capillary pressure, a criterion for the transition from partial to total coalescence was derived based on scaling analysis and numerically validated.

Original languageEnglish
Article number023602
JournalPhysical Review Fluids
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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