Postgraduate research opportunities Dynamics of Self-Rewetting Droplets


Key facts

  • Opens: Monday 2 March 2020
  • Number of places: 1
  • Duration: 4 years


There is currently great interest in self-rewetting fluids whose surface tension exhibits a local minimum with temperature. The aim of the project is bring new insight into the understanding of these novel fluids, and hence to harness the properties of droplets of such fluids in a range of technological applications.
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Hold a good Honours Degree (First Class or 2:1) in Mathematics or a relevant scientific discipline such as Physics (Essential).

THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner
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Project Details

In the last decade or so there has been an explosion of interest in droplet evaporation, driven by new technological applications as diverse as crop spraying, printing, cooling technologies such as heat pipes, and DNA micro-array analysis.

One particularly interesting aspect of this problem which has thus far received relatively little attention is that of fluids whose surface tension exhibits a local minimum with temperature, known as self-rewetting fluids, a property that can have a profound effect on the dynamics of droplets on heated substrates.

The aim of the project is to build on the existing literature on conventional surface-tension-gradient driven spreading and droplet drying (see, for example, the references to some of our recent work on these problems given below) to bring new physical insight into this challenging scientific problem, and hence to harness the novel properties of self-rewetting droplets in a range of applications.

The project will be a collaboration colleagues at the University of Edinburgh who will be undertaking a parallel series of experimental investigations on this problem which will be key to the successful outcome of the project.

Dunn, G.J., Wilson, S.K., Duffy, B.R., David, S., Sefiane, K. “The strong influence of substrate conductivity on droplet evaporation” J. Fluid Mech. 623 329-351 (2009)

Dunn, G.J., Duffy, B.R., Wilson, S.K., Holland, D. “Quasi-steady spreading of a thin ridge of fluid with temperature-dependent surface tension on a heated or cooled substrate” Q. Jl. Mech. appl. Math. 62 (4) 365-402 (2009)

Duffy, B.R., Wilson, S.K., Conn, J.J.A., Sefiane, K. “Unsteady motion of a long bubble or droplet in a self-rewetting system” Phys. Rev. Fluids 3 (12) 123603 (2018)

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Professor Stephen Wilson

Mathematics and Statistics

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Please email Professor Wilson ( directly to learn more about this opportunity.

Number of places: 1

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