Impact of Surfactants on the Formation and Properties of Droplet Clusters

Alexander A. Fedorets, Dmitry V. Shcherbakov, Leonid A. Dombrovsky, Edward Bormashenko, Michael Nosonovsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


A levitating cluster of condensed microdroplets can form over the heated area of a water layer. The thermocapillary (TC) flow at the surface of the water layer combined with the convective flow in the layer often prevents a cluster's stability due to disturbances that it creates in the gas flow over the water surface. The TC flow can be suppressed by introducing small amounts of surfactants into the water layer. We conduct a systematic study of the effect of a surfactant on the cluster. We show experimentally that the introduction of the surfactant sodium laureth sulfate with concentrations of 0.05-0.5 g/L can suppress the TC convection. It is shown that the amount of surfactant does not affect the condensational growth of droplets and the structure of the cluster. In the absence of the surfactant, a ring-shaped cluster is formed, which is reported in this paper for the first time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11154-11160
Number of pages7
Issue number37
StatePublished - 22 Sep 2020


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