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Published April 1, 2004 | public
Journal Article Open

Influence of boundary slip on the optimal excitations in thermocapillary driven spreading


Thin liquid films driven to spread on homogeneous surfaces by thermocapillarity can undergo frontal breakup and parallel rivulet formation with well-defined wavelength. Previous modal analyses have relieved the well-known divergence in stress that occurs at a moving contact line by matching the front region to a precursor film. Because the linearized disturbance operator is non-normal, a generalized, nonmodal analysis is required to probe film stability at all times. The effect of the contact line model on nonmodal stability has not been previously investigated. This work examines the influence of boundary slip on thermocapillary driven spreading using a transient stability analysis, which recovers the conventional modal results in the long-time limit. In combination with earlier work on thermocapillary driven spreading, this study verifies that the dynamics and stability of this system are rather insensitive to the choice of contact line model and that the leading eigenvalue is physically determinant, thereby assuring results that agree with the eigenspectrum. Modal results for the flat precursor film model are reproduced with appropriate choice of slip coefficient and contact line slope.

Additional Information

©2004 The American Physical Society (Received 9 April 2003; revised 2 July 2004; published 29 October 2004) J.M.D. gratefully acknowledges financial support from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the Association of Princeton Graduate Alumni. S.M.T. kindly acknowledges the National Science Foundation (CTS and DMR divisions) and NASA.


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