Leidenfrost Effect: The life of a levitating water droplet on a hot vapour layer

Thomas Frisch
Institut de Physique de Nice, Nice

The Leidenfrost effect is a physical phenomenon in which a liquid droplet floats on its own evaporating vapour due to the presence of a hot substrate underneath. This effect was discovered by Johan Leidenfrost in 1771 and investigated by John Tyndall as narrated in his book “Heat: a mode of motion (1875). Leidenfrost droplets constitutes an interesting out of equilibrium system which can be a nice playground for laboratory experiments on capillarity and fluid motion. In my talk, I will review the recent experimental and theoretical studies that we have undergone in our laboratory. I will discuss the behaviour of Leidenfrost droplets in the super-levitation regime [1,2] which takes place for a very small droplet radius and reveals the signature of the end of the lubrication regime. I will also discuss a new technique for generating Leidenfrost droplet at ambient temperature (20 Celcius) by using a low-pressure atmosphere [3]. These droplets could have applications as micro-reactors. Finally, I will expose theoretical and experimental results on Leidenfrost droplets which are confined in a two-dimensional geometry by means of a Hele-Shaw cell [4,5], in particular their oscillations and the dynamics of a growing hole. Finally, I will conclude with some questions on their interface fluctuations when the system is close to the Leidenfrost transition.

[1] Take off of small Leidenfrost droplets, F Celestini, T Frisch, Y Pomeau, Physical review letters 109 (2012)

[2] The Leidenfrost effect: From quasi-spherical droplets to puddles, Y Pomeau, M Le Berre, F Celestini, T Frisch, Comptes Rendus Mecanique 340 (2012)

[3] Room temperature water Leidenfrost droplets, F Celestini, T Frisch, Y Pomeau Soft Matter 9 (2013)

[4]Two-dimensional Leidenfrost droplets in a Hele-Shaw cell, F Celestini, T Frisch, A Cohen, C Raufaste, L Duchemin, Y Pomeau, Physics of Fluids 26 (2014)

[5] Hole growth dynamics in a two-dimensional Leidenfrost droplet, C Raufaste, F Celestini, A Barzyk, T Frisch, Physics of Fluids 27 (2015)