Control of evaporation by geometry in capillary structures. From confined pillar arrays in a gap radial gradient to phyllotaxy-inspired geometry

Abstract : Evaporation is a key phenomenon in the natural environment and in many technological systems involving capillary structures. Understanding the evaporation front dynamics enables the evaporation rate from microfluidic devices and porous media to be finely controlled. Of particular interest is the ability to control the position of the front through suitable design of the capillary structure. Here, we show how to design model capillary structures in microfluidic devices so as to control the drying kinetics. This is achieved by acting on the spatial organization of the constrictions that influence the invasion of the structure by the gas phase. Two types of control are demonstrated. The first is intended to control the sequence of primary invasions through the pore space, while the second aims to control the secondary liquid structures: films, bridges, etc., that can form in the region of pore space invaded by the gas phase. It is shown how the latter can be obtained from phyllotaxy-inspired geometry. Our study thus opens up a route toward the control of the evaporation kinetics by means of tailored capillary structures.
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Chen Chen, Paul Duru, Pierre Joseph, Sandrine Geoffroy, Marc Prat. Control of evaporation by geometry in capillary structures. From confined pillar arrays in a gap radial gradient to phyllotaxy-inspired geometry. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2017, 7 (1), pp.15110. 〈https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-14529-z〉. 〈10.1038/s41598-017-14529-z〉. 〈hal-01643395〉

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