Unique shape changes during freezing of a nanofluid droplet

12 Dec 2017  ·  Zhao Yugang, Yang Chun ·

Understanding the dynamics during freezing of nanofluid droplets is of importance from a fundamental and practical viewpoint. While the freezing of a water droplet has been extensively studied, little information is available about the characteristics of freezing a nanofluid droplet... Here, we report unique shape changes observed during the freezing process of a nanofluid droplet. Instead of forming a pointy tip on the frozen deionized water droplet, we found that the top of a frozen nanofluid droplet exhibits a flat plateau shape and such plateau becomes larger with increasing nanoparticle concentration. We ascribe this characteristic shape change to an outward Marangoni flow which moves liquid from the droplet interior to its vertexes, thus engendering the volume redistribution and shape changes. Moreover, we also observed a particle ring pattern formed during freezing of a nanofluid droplet, which is similar to the well-known coffee stain phenomenon occurring during evaporation of a water droplet with dispersed particles. We believe our reported phenomena are not only of fundamental interest but have potential applications in the freezing of nanofluids for energy storage and developing nanofluid based new microfabrication methods. read more

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Fluid Dynamics Soft Condensed Matter