Observations of internal flow inside an evaporating nanofluid sessile droplet in the presence of an entrapped air bubble

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© The Author(s) 2016. Using a unique, near-field microscopy technique, fringe patterns and nanoparticle motions are visualized immediately following a nanofluid droplet deposition on a glass substrate in which an air bubble is entrapped. The nanofluid consists of DI-water, 0.10% Aluminum Oxide nanoparticles with an average diameter of 50 nm, and 0.0005% yellow-green polystyrene fluorescent particles of 1 μm diameter. High-speed, fluorescent-mode confocal imaging enables investigation of depth-wise sectioned particle movements in the nanofluid droplet inside which a bubble is entrapped. The static contact angle is increased when a bubble is applied. In the presence of the bubble in the droplet, the observed flow toward the center of the droplet is opposite to the flow observed in a droplet without the bubble. When the bubble is present, the evaporation process is retarded. Also, random motion is observed in the contact line region instead of the typical evaporation-driven flow toward the droplet edge. Once the bubble bursts, however, the total evaporation time decreases due to the change in the contact line characteristics. Moreover, the area of fringe patterns beneath the bubble increases with time. Discussed herein is a unique internal flow that has not been observed in nanofluid droplet evaporation.

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Scientific Reports