Self-excited hydrothermal waves in evaporating sessile drops
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Pattern formation driven by the spontaneous evaporation of sessile drops of methanol, ethanol, and FC-72 using infrared thermography is observed and, in certain cases, interpreted in terms of hydrothermal waves. Both methanol and ethanol drops exhibit thermal wave trains, whose wave number depends strongly on the liquid volatililty and substrate thermal conductivity. The FC- 72 drops develop cellular structures whose size is proportional to the local thickness. Prior to this work, hydrothermal waves have been observed in the absence of evaporation in shallow liquid layers subjected to an imposed temperature gradient. In contrast, here both the temperature gradients and the drop thickness vary spatially and temporally and are a natural consequence of the evaporation process.