Selective spreading and jetting of electrically driven dielectric films.

Phys Rev Lett 2011 Jul 12;107(3):034502. Epub 2011 Jul 12.

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey 08544, USA.

We study the electrically driven spreading of dielectric liquid films in wedge-shaped gaps across which a potential difference is applied. Our experiments are in a little-studied regime where, throughout the dynamics, the electrical relaxation time is long compared to the time for charge to be convected by the fluid motion. We observe that at a critical normal electric field the hump-shaped leading edge undergoes an instability in the form of a single Taylor cone and periodic jetting ensues, after which traveling waves occur along the trailing thin film. We propose a convection-dominated mechanism for charge transport to describe the observed dynamics and rationalize the viscosity dependence of the self-excited dynamics.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.107.034502DOI Listing
July 2011
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