Numerical investigation of an evaporating meniscus in a channel

Hemanth Dhavaleswarapu, Purdue University
Jayathi Y. Murthy, Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University
Suresh V. Garimella, Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University

Date of this Version



International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer Volume 55, Issue 4, 31 January 2012, Pages 915–924


A detailed numerical model is developed that describes heat and mass transfer from a meniscus to open air. The model accounts for the effects of evaporation at the interface, vapor transport through air, thermocapillary convection, and natural convection in air. Evaporation at the interface is modeled using kinetic theory, while vapor transport in air is computed by solving the complete species transport equation. Since the vapor pressure at the liquid-gas interface depends on both evaporation and the vapor transport in air, the equations are solved in an iterative manner. Evaporation is strongest at the triple line due to the highest local vapor diffusion gradient in this region. This differential evaporation, coupled with the low thermal resistance near the triple line, results in a temperature gradient along the interface that creates thermocapillary convection. The numerical results obtained show satisfactory agreement with experimental data for the evaporation rate and the temperature profile. Additionally, results from a simplified model neglecting thermocapillary convection are compared with the full solution, thus delineating the importance of thermocapillary convection-induced mixing in the energy transfer process. The present generalized model may easily be extended to other geometries and hence may be used in the design of two-phase cooling devices. Crown Copyright (C) 2011 Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Nanoscience and Nanotechnology