Field driven evaporation kinetics of a sessile ferrofluid droplet on a soft substrate†
We experimentally investigate the evaporation kinetics of a sessile ferrofluid droplet placed on a soft substrate in the presence of a time-dependent magnetic field. We use both bright field visualization techniques and μ-PIV analysis to gain qualitative as well as quantitative insights into the internal hydrodynamics of the droplet. The results show that the droplet evaporation rate is augmented significantly in the presence of a time-dependent magnetic field, attributed primarily to the enhanced internal flow advection. We show that the motion of the magnetic nanoparticles dictates the overall life-time of the evaporating ferrofluid droplet. At lower frequencies of the magnetic field, the magnetic nanoparticles move towards the magnet and agglomerate into a chain-like cluster formation, oriented according to the magnetic field lines. On the other hand, at higher frequencies, the magnetic nanoparticles do not have sufficient time to travel the whole characteristic length (droplet diameter). Consequently, we observe the presence of a critical frequency at which the perturbation time scale balances the advective time scale of the flow inside the droplet. We show that on account for this balance between the time scales, the droplet experiences a minimum life-time. Finally, we demonstrate that the evaporation kinetics of a ferrofluid droplet in the presence of a time-dependent magnetic field can be described through three distinguishable stages viz., the decreasing contact angle and variable radius zone, the decreasing contact angle and decreasing radius zone and the late mixed zone. The inferences drawn from this study could have far-reaching implications in fields ranging from biomedical engineering to surface patterning.