The stability of water films has been investigated with a Mysels-Scheludko type film balance. Minor trace impurities in water do not affect the lifetime of water films under vapor saturation, but significantly influence the stability in free evaporation. Trace amounts of positively adsorbed contaminants induce Marangoni-driven flow that destabilizes films under evaporation conditions whereas negatively adsorbed electrolytes actually prolong stability by reversing interfacial tension gradients and driving a steady circulation within the film. At high thinning rates, pure-water films develop exotic-appearing flow patterns and break due to a strong coupling between hydrodynamic and interfacial tension-gradient adsorption stresses. The most dominant factor of transient film stabilization in dynamic conditions under evaporation is a surface tension gradient created in the film. We discuss surface tension gradients in transient films created by temperature differences, impurity concentration, and expansion of the films.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Surfaces and Interfaces