Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics (PhD)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics


Jeffrey S. Allen


Micro-scale, two-phase flow is found in a variety of devices such as Lab-on-a-chip, bio-chips, micro-heat exchangers, and fuel cells. Knowledge of the fluid behavior near the dynamic gas-liquid interface is required for developing accurate predictive models. Light is distorted near a curved gas-liquid interface preventing accurate measurement of interfacial shape and internal liquid velocities. This research focused on the development of experimental methods designed to isolate and probe dynamic liquid films and measure velocity fields near a moving gas-liquid interface. A high-speed, reflectance, swept-field confocal (RSFC) imaging system was developed for imaging near curved surfaces.

Experimental studies of dynamic gas-liquid interface of micro-scale, two-phase flow were conducted in three phases. Dynamic liquid film thicknesses of segmented, two-phase flow were measured using the RSFC and compared to a classic film thickness deposition model. Flow fields near a steadily moving meniscus were measured using RSFC and particle tracking velocimetry. The RSFC provided high speed imaging near the menisci without distortion caused the gas-liquid interface. Finally, interfacial morphology for internal two-phase flow and droplet evaporation were measured using interferograms produced by the RSFC imaging technique. Each technique can be used independently or simultaneously when.