Visualization of an evaporating thin layer during the evaporation of a nanofluid droplet

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© 2015 American Chemical Society. During the evaporation of a droplet, there exists an evaporating thin layer that is difficult to visualize because of optical restrictions. The present study visualized this thin layer by using a reflective-mode, confocal microscope that can provide improved signal-to-noise focal plane imaging over traditional optical microscopy while simultaneously serving as an interferometer when imaging thin liquid films. The spatial distribution of the evaporating thin layer thickness was determined from interferometric fringe analysis. Three distinct fringe patterns, or regions, were observed depending on the nanoparticle concentration. These regions are referred to as uniform, slow extension, and rapid extension. The formation of the three regions is closely associated with the variation of the evaporating thin layer thickness of a nanofluid droplet. The nanoparticle bank formed near the contact line region substantially affects the rate of change in the evaporating thin layer thickness that increases with the nanoparticle concentration.

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