Levitating droplets of liquid condensate are known to organize themselves into ordered arrays over hot liquid-gas interfaces. We report experimental observation of similar behavior over a dry heated solid surface. Even though the lifetime of the array is shorter in this case, its geometric characteristics are remarkably similar to the case of droplets levitating over liquid-gas interfaces. A simple model is developed that predicts the mechanisms of both droplet levitation and interdroplet interaction leading to pattern formation over a dry surface; the model is shown to be in good agreement with the experimental data. Using the insights from the new experiments, we are able to resolve some long-standing controversies pertaining to the mechanism of levitation of droplets over liquid-gas interfaces.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)