Surface jets and internal mixing during the coalescence of impacting and sessile droplets


The internal dynamics during the coalescence of a sessile droplet and a subsequently deposited impacting droplet, with either identical or distinct surface tension, is studied experimentally in the regime where surface tension is dominant. Two color high-speed cameras are used to capture the rapid internal flows and associated mixing from both side and bottom views simultaneously by adding an inert dye to the impacting droplet. Given sufficient lateral separation between droplets of identical surface tension, a robust surface jet is identified on top of the coalesced droplet. Image processing shows this jet is the result of a surface flow caused by the impact inertia and an immobile contact line. By introducing surface tension differences between the coalescing droplets, the surface jet can be either enhanced or suppressed via a Marangoni flow. The influence of the initial droplet configuration and relative surface tension on the long-term dynamics and mixing efficiency, plus the implications for emerging applications such as reactive inkjet printing, are also considered.

Phys. Rev. Fluids