Marangoni driven film dynamics for diffusive mixtures
Marangoni-driven flows develop due to local surface tension gradients at the interface between two liquids. These flows have many implications for biochemical systems, microfluidic systems or chemical reactors. When a drop of a liquid substance such as ethanol is deposited at the surface of a liquid film layer, e.g. water, the surface tension gradient expands the drop rapidly to form a very thin film. Competition between the Marangoni-driven film flow and the diffusion of some or all of the film components into the other phase can lead to complex mixing dynamics as well as interfacial instabilities.
In this project, we will explore experimentally and theoretically the competition between convection and diffusion mechanisms and their impact on the dynamics and stability of these rapidly expanding thin films. Experimental techniques such as high-speed particle image velocimetry and dye attenuation will be used to understand the various flow phenomena and the mixing properties. Pure or mixed substances for the drop will be tested varying the miscibility and surface tension properties with the liquid film layer onto which it is deposited. We will also investigate the impact of the results of these studies for practical applications in biochemical systems and microfluidic systems.
The project is suitable for an enthusiastic and creative candidate who has some experience in laboratory experimentation and good knowledge in fluid mechanics. Some knowledge in imaging analysis technique is desired but not necessary.
Funding is available and would provide fees and maintenance at RCUK level for home/EU students, or a fees-only bursary for overseas students. Competitive bursaries are also available for overseas students to fully cover both fees and maintenance at RCUK level.
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FTE Category A staff submitted: 54.40
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