Dynamics and universal scaling law in geometrically-controlled sessile drop evaporation

P. J. Sáenz, A. W. Wray, Z. Che, O. K. Matar, P. Valluri, J. Kim, K. Sefiane

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The evaporation of a liquid drop on a solid substrate is a remarkably common phenomenon. Yet, the complexity of the underlying mechanisms has constrained previous studies to sphericallysymmetric configurations. Here we investigate well-defined, non-spherical evaporating drops of pure liquids and binary mixtures. We deduce a universal scaling law for the evaporation rate valid for any shape and demonstrate that more curved regions lead to preferential localized depositions in particle-laden drops. Furthermore, geometry induces well-defined flow structures within the drop that change according to the driving mechanism. In the case of binary mixtures, geometry dictates the spatial segregation of the more volatile component as it is depleted. Our results suggest that the drop geometry can be exploited to prescribe the particle deposition and evaporative dynamics of pure drops and the mixing characteristics of multicomponent drops, which may be of interest to a wide range of industrial and scientific applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14783
Number of pages9
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2017


  • evaporation
  • liquid droplets
  • binary mixtures
  • non-spherical
  • solid substrates
  • bulk flow
  • evaporation kinetics
  • thermocapillary stability
  • binary mixture dynamics
  • universal scaling law

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