James E. Sprittles

James E. Sprittles
The University of Warwick · Warwick Mathematics Institute

PhD in Applied Mathematics

About

69
Publications
12,968
Reads
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1,161
Citations
Additional affiliations
October 2013 - June 2016
The University of Warwick
Position
  • Senior Researcher
April 2012 - October 2013
University of Oxford
Position
  • Researcher
October 2009 - April 2012
University of Birmingham
Position
  • EPSRC Research Fellow

Publications

Publications (69)
Article
Full-text available
Recent experiments on coating flows and liquid drop impact both demonstrate that wetting failures caused by air entrainment can be suppressed by reducing the ambient gas pressure. Here, it is shown that non-equilibrium effects in the gas can account for this behaviour, with ambient pressure reductions increasing the gas' mean free path and hence th...
Article
Full-text available
The coalescence of two liquid drops surrounded by a viscous gas is considered in the framework of the conventional model. The problem is solved numerically with particular attention to resolving the very initial stage of the process which only recently has become accessible both experimentally and computationally. A systematic study of the paramete...
Article
Full-text available
The formation of a single bubble from an orifice in a solid surface, submerged in an in- compressible, viscous Newtonian liquid, is simulated. The finite element method is used to capture the multiscale physics associated with the problem and to track the evolution of the free surface explicitly. The results are compared to a recent experimental an...
Article
Full-text available
Surface engineering at the nanoscale is a rapidly developing field that promises to impact a range of applications including energy production, water desalination, self-cleaning and anti-icing surfaces, thermal management of electronics, microfluidic platforms, and environmental pollution control. As the area advances, more detailed insights of dyn...
Article
The finite element simulation of dynamic wetting phenomena, requiring the computation of flow in a domain confined by intersecting a liquid-fluid free surface and a liquid-solid interface, with the three-phase contact line moving across the solid, is considered. For this class of flows, different finite element method (FEM) implementations have bee...
Article
We develop a novel boundary integral formulation for the steady linearized form of Grad's 13-moment (G13) equations applied to a uniform flow of rarefied gas past solid objects at low Mach numbers. Changing variables leads to a system of boundary integral equations that combines integral equations from Stokes flow and potential theory. The strong c...
Preprint
Full-text available
We report a molecularly-augmented continuum-based computational model of dynamic wetting and apply it to the displacement of an externally-driven liquid plug between two partially-wetted parallel plates. The results closely follow those obtained in a recent molecular-dynamics (MD) study of the same problem Toledano (2021) which we use as a benchmar...
Article
Full-text available
The effects of thermal fluctuations on nanoscale flows are captured by a numerical scheme that is underpinned by fluctuating hydrodynamics. A stochastic lubrication equation (SLE) is solved on nonuniform adaptive grids to study a series of nanoscale thin-film flows. The Fornberg scheme is used for high-resolution spatial discretization and a fully...
Article
Full-text available
The Leidenfrost effect, where a drop levitates on a vapour film above a hot solid, is simulated using an efficient computational model that captures the internal flow within the droplet, models the vapour flow in a lubrication framework and is capable of resolving the dynamics of the process. The initial focus is on quasi-static droplets and the as...
Article
Thin-film-based nanoporous membrane technologies exploit evaporation to efficiently cool microscale and nanoscale electronic devices. At these scales, when domain sizes become comparable to the mean-free path in the vapor, traditional macroscopic approaches such as the Navier-Stokes-Fourier (NSF) equations become less accurate, and the use of highe...
Preprint
Full-text available
Thin-film-based nanoporous membrane technologies exploit evaporation to efficiently cool microscale and nanoscale electronic devices. At these scales, when domain sizes become comparable to the mean free path in the vapour, traditional macroscopic approaches such as the Navier-Stokes-Fourier (NSF) equations become less accurate, and the use of high...
Preprint
Full-text available
The moving-contact line between a fluid, liquid and a solid is a ubiquitous phenomenon, and determining the maximum speed at which a liquid can wet/dewet a solid is a practically important problem. Using continuum models, previous studies have shown that the maximum speed of wetting/dewetting can be found by calculating steady solutions of the gove...
Article
Full-text available
Environmental structure describes physical structure that can determine heterogenous spatial distribution of biotic and abiotic (nutrients, stressors etc.) components of a microorganism’s micro-environment. This study investigated the impact of micrometre-scale structure on microbial stress sensing, using yeast cells exposed to copper in microfluid...
Preprint
Full-text available
The formation of deformed liquid marbles via impact of drops onto powder beds is analysed using experimental and computational modelling approaches. Experimentally, particular attention is paid to determining a relationship between the maximum contact area of the spreading drops, which determines how much powder the drop's surface is able to harves...
Article
The formation of deformed liquid marbles via impact of drops onto powder beds is analyzed using experimental and computational modeling approaches. Experimentally, particular attention is paid to determining a relationship between the maximum contact area of the spreading drops, which determines how much powder the drop's surface is able to harvest...
Article
In this paper we compute the linear stability of similarity solutions of the breakup of viscous liquid threads, in which the viscosity and inertia of the liquid are in balance with the surface tension. The stability of the similarity solution is determined using numerical continuation to find the dominant eigenvalues. The stability of the first two...
Preprint
Full-text available
The effects of thermal fluctuations on nanoscale flows are captured by a numerical scheme that is underpinned by fluctuating hydrodynamics. A stochastic lubrication equation (SLE) is solved on non-uniform adaptive grids to study a series of nanoscale thin-film flows. The Fornberg scheme is used for high-resolution spatial discretisation and a fully...
Article
Full-text available
Determining physically admissible boundary conditions for higher moments in an extended continuum model is recognised as a major obstacle. Boundary conditions for the regularised 26-moment (R26) equations obtained using Maxwell's accommodation model do exist in the literature; however, we show in this article that these boundary conditions violate...
Preprint
The formation of a splash crown and a cavity following a sphere impact on a body of liquid is investigated in a rarefied atmosphere using high-speed photography. It is found that the threshold entry speed for cavity formation/non-formation is influenced by the density of the surrounding gas, whilst the absolute pressure and molecular mass of the ga...
Preprint
Full-text available
Determining physically admissible boundary conditions for higher moments in an extended continuum model is recognised as a major obstacle. Boundary conditions for the regularised 26-moment (R26) equations obtained using Maxwell's accommodation model do exist in the literature; however, we show in this article that these boundary conditions violate...
Preprint
Full-text available
In this paper we compute the linear stability of similarity solutions of the breakup of viscous liquid threads, in which the viscosity and inertia of the liquid are in balance with the surface tension. The stability of the similarity solution is determined using numerical continuation to find the dominant eigenvalue of the correction problem. Stabi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Classical continuum-based liquid vapour phase-change models typically assume continuity of temperature at phase interfaces along with a relation which describes the rate of evaporation at the interface (Hertz-Knudsen-Schrage, for example). However, for phase transitions processes at small scales, such as the evaporation of nanodroplets, the assumpt...
Article
The well-known thermal capillary wave theory, which describes the capillary spectrum of the free surface of a liquid film, does not reveal the transient dynamics of surface waves, e.g. the process through which a smooth surface becomes rough. Here, a Langevin model is proposed that can capture this dynamics, goes beyond the long-wave paradigm which...
Preprint
Full-text available
The relaxation dynamics of thermal capillary waves for nanoscale liquid films on anisotropic-slip substrates are investigated, using both molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and a Langevin model. The anisotropy of slip on substrates is achieved using a specific lattice plane of a face-centred cubic lattice. This surface's anisotropy breaks the simp...
Preprint
Full-text available
Numerical solutions of the Enskog-Vlasov (EV) equation are used to determine the velocity distribution function of atoms spontaneously evaporating into near-vacuum conditions. It is found that an accurate approximation is provided by a half-Maxwellian including a drift velocity combined with different characteristic temperatures for the velocity co...
Article
Full-text available
Thin-film evaporation from nanoporous membranes is a promising cooling technology employed for the thermal management of modern electronic devices. We propose an effective one-dimensional analytical approach that can accurately predict the temperature and density jump relations, and evaporation rates, for arbitrary nanoporous membrane configuration...
Preprint
Full-text available
The well-known thermal capillary wave theory, which describes the capillary spectrum of the free surface of a liquid film, does not reveal the transient dynamics of surface waves, e.g., the process through which a smooth surface becomes rough. Here, a Langevin model is proposed that can capture these dynamics, goes beyond the long-wave paradigm whi...
Conference Paper
In the Leidenfrost effect, drops levitate on a thin film of vapor generated by the evaporation of the liquid above a solid surface heated beyond the Leidenfrost temperature. A previous model [1] predicted the quasistatic shape of a Leidenfrost drop by using the lubrication approximation for the vapor but neglecting flow in the drop. We find that th...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In the Leidenfrost effect, drops levitate on a thin film of vapor generated by the evaporation of the liquid above a solid surface heated beyond the Leidenfrost temperature. A previous model [1] predicted the quasistatic shape of a Leidenfrost drop by using the lubrication approximation for the vapor but neglecting flow in the drop. We find that th...
Article
Full-text available
The combined effects of thermal fluctuations and liquid-solid slip on nanoscale thin-film flows are investigated using stochastic lubrication equations (SLEs). The previous no-slip SLE for films on plates is extended to consider slip effects and a new SLE for films on fibers is derived, using a long-wave approximation to fluctuating hydrodynamics....
Article
Numerical solutions of the Enskog-Vlasov equation are used to determine the velocity distribution function of atoms spontaneously evaporating into near-vacuum conditions. It is found that an accurate approximation is provided by a half-Maxwellian including a drift velocity combined with different characteristic temperatures for the velocity compone...
Article
Full-text available
Cox–Voinov theory with slip - Volume 900 - Tak Shing Chan, Catherine Kamal, Jacco H. Snoeijer, James E. Sprittles, Jens Eggers
Article
In immiscible liquid-liquid Newtonian flow through a porous medium, one phase often becomes trapped in corners or narrow regions by capillary forces as blobs (e.g. oil ganglia) deep within the matrix, whilst the second flow exhibits a steady and laminar flow (e.g. of water) that has negligible influence on the trapped liquid-liquid interfaces. Howe...
Article
Next-generation processor-chip cooling devices and self-cleaning surfaces can be enhanced by a passive process that require little to no electrical input, through coalescence-induced nanodroplet jumping. Here, we describe the crucial impact thermal capillary waves and ambient gas rarefaction have on enhancing/limiting the jumping speeds of nanodrop...
Article
Full-text available
The instability and rupture of nanoscale liquid threads is shown to strongly depend on thermal fluctuations. These fluctuations are naturally occurring within molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and can be incorporated via fluctuating hydrodynamics into a stochastic lubrication equation (SLE). A simple and robust numerical scheme is developed for t...
Article
Full-text available
A model is developed for liquid drop impact on a solid surface that captures the thin film gas flow beneath the drop, even when the film’s thickness is below the mean free path in the gas so that gas kinetic effects (GKE) are important. Simulation results agree with experiments, with the impact speed threshold between bouncing and wetting reproduce...
Article
Full-text available
Evaporation is an effective cooling mechanism widely exploited in the thermal management of modern electronic devices, with a growing interest in the evaporation process in thin-film-based nanoporous membrane technologies. At such scales, classical approaches fail and one requires solutions of the Boltzmann equation; these are obtained here using t...
Article
Full-text available
A transition from a d2 to a d law is observed in molecular dynamics (MD) simulations when the diameter (d) of an evaporating droplet reduces to the order of the vapor’s mean free path; this cannot be explained by classical theory. This Letter shows that the d law can be predicted within the Navier-Stokes-Fourier (NSF) paradigm if a temperature-jump...
Preprint
A transition from a d^2-to a d-law is observed in molecular dynamics (MD) simulations when the diameter (d) of an evaporating droplet reduces to the order of the vapor's mean free path; this cannot be explained by classical theory. This Letter shows that the d-law can be predicted within the Navier-Stokes-Fourier (NSF) paradigm if a temperature-jum...
Article
Full-text available
The instability of a thin liquid film on a solid surface is studied both by molecular dynamics simulations (MD) and a stochastic thin-film equation (STF), which models thermal fluctuations with white noise. A linear stability analysis of the STF allows us to derive a power spectrum for the surface fluctuations, which is quantitatively validated aga...
Article
Full-text available
The classical notion of the coalescence of two droplets of the same radius R is that surface tension drives an initially singular flow. In this Letter we show, using molecular dynamics simulations of coalescing water nanodroplets, that after single or multiple bridges form due to the presence of thermal capillary waves, the bridge growth commences...
Article
Full-text available
We consider the linearized form of the regularized 13-moment equations (R13) to model the slow, steady gas dynamics surrounding a rigid, heat-conducting sphere when a uniform temperature gradient is imposed far from the sphere and the gas is in a state of rarefaction. Under these conditions, the phenomenon of thermophoresis, characterized by forces...
Article
Full-text available
We study air entrainment by a solid plate plunging into a viscous liquid, theoretically and numerically. At dimensionless speeds $Ca=U\unicode[STIX]{x1D702}/\unicode[STIX]{x1D6FE}$ of order unity, a near-cusp forms due to the presence of a moving contact line. The radius of curvature of the cusp’s tip scales with the slip length multiplied by an ex...
Article
Full-text available
The theoretical framework developed by Rayleigh and Plateau in the 19th century has been remarkably accurate in describing macroscale experiments of liquid cylinder instability. Here we re-evaluate and revise the Rayleigh–Plateau instability for the nanoscale, where molecular dynamics experiments demonstrate its inadequacy. A new framework based on...
Article
Full-text available
Evaporation of a binary liquid into near-vacuum conditions has been studied using numerical solutions of a system of two coupled Enskog-Vlasov equations. Liquid-vapor coexistence curves have been mapped out for different liquid compositions. The evaporation process has been investigated at a range of liquid temperatures sufficiently lower than the...
Article
Full-text available
Macroscopic models based on moment equations are developed to describe the transport of mass and energy near the phase boundary between a liquid and its rarefied vapour due to evaporation and hence, in this study, condensation. For evaporation from a spherical droplet, analytic solutions are obtained to the linearised equations from the Navier–Stok...
Article
Full-text available
Fundamental solutions (Green’s functions) are derived for the regularised 13-moment system (R13) of rarefied gas dynamics, for small departures from equilibrium; these solutions show the presence of Knudsen layers, associated with exponential decay terms, that do not feature in the solution of lower-order systems (e.g. the Navier–Stokes–Fourier equ...
Article
Full-text available
The maximum speed at which a liquid can wet a solid is limited by the need to displace gas lubrication films in front of the moving contact line. The characteristic height of these films is often comparable to the mean free path in the gas so that hydrodynamic models do not adequately describe the flow physics. This Letter develops a model which in...
Article
Full-text available
We report studies of the coalescence of pairs of picolitre aerosol droplets manipulated with holographic optical tweezers, probing the shape relaxation dynamics following coalescence by simultaneously monitoring the intensity of elastic backscattered light (EBL) from the trapping laser beam (time resolution on the order of 100 ns) while recording h...
Article
Full-text available
Computations of the breakup of a liquid bridge are used to establish the limits of applicability of similarity solutions derived for different breakup regimes. These regimes are based on particular viscous–inertial balances, that is, different limits of the Ohnesorge number $Oh$ . To accurately establish the transitions between regimes, the minim...
Article
Full-text available
The interface formation model is applied to describe the initial stages of the coalescence of two liquid drops in the presence of a viscous ambient fluid whose dynamics is fully accounted for. Our focus is on understanding (a) how this model's predictions differ from those of the conventionally used one, (b) what influence the ambient fluid has on...
Article
Full-text available
We examine the dynamics of two coalescing liquid drops in the `inertial regime', where the effects of viscosity are negligible and the propagation of the bridge front connecting the drops can be considered as `local'. The solution fully computed in the framework of classical fluid-mechanics allows this regime to be identified and the accuracy of th...
Article
We present results from an experimental study of the impact of liquid drops onto powder beds which are pre-wetted with the impacting liquid. Using high-speed video imaging, we study both the dynamics of the initial spreading regime and drainage times once the drop has reached its maximum spread on the surface. During the initial spreading stage, we...
Article
Full-text available
The process of coalescence of two identical liquid drops is simulated numerically in the framework of two essentially different mathematical models, and the results are compared with experimental data on the very early stages of the coalescence process reported recently. The first model tested is the `conventional' one, where it is assumed that coa...
Article
Full-text available
The spreading of an incompressible viscous liquid over an isotropic homogeneous unsaturated porous substrate is considered. It is shown that, unlike the dynamic wetting of an impermeable solid substrate, where the dynamic contact angle has to be specified as a boundary condition in terms of the wetting velocity and other flow characteristics, the `...
Article
Full-text available
The anomalous dynamics of capillary rise in a porous medium discovered experimentally more than a decade ago (Delker et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 76 (1996) 2902) is described. The developed theory is based on considering the principal modes of motion of the menisci that collectively form the wetting front on the Darcy scale. These modes, which include...
Article
Full-text available
A new approach to the modelling of wetting fronts in porous media on the Darcy scale is developed, based on considering the types (modes) of motion the menisci go through on the pore scale. This approach is illustrated using a simple model case of imbibition of a viscous incompressible liquid into an isotropic porous matrix with two modes of motion...
Article
A mathematically challenging model of dynamic wetting as a process of interface formation has been, for the first time, fully incorporated into a numerical code based on the finite element method and applied, as a test case, to the problem of capillary rise. The motivation for this work comes from the fact that, as discovered experimentally more th...
Article
Full-text available
Microdrop impact and spreading phenomena are explored as an interface formation process using a recently developed computational framework. The accuracy of the results obtained from this framework for the simulation of high deformation free-surface flows is confirmed by a comparison with previous numerical studies for the large amplitude oscillatio...
Article
Numerical issues arising in computations of viscous flows in corners formed by a liquid-fluid free surface and a solid boundary are considered. It is shown that on the solid a Dirichlet boundary condition, which removes multivaluedness of velocity in the `moving contact-line problem' and gives rise to a logarithmic singularity of pressure, requires...
Article
Full-text available
A major obstacle to the design of ink-jet printing devices for targeted deposition of microdrops is that the interaction of a microdrop with a solid substrate cannot be inferred from experiments with larger drops, whose behaviour is relatively easy to observe. Consequently, it is necessary to have a theory based on first-principles which, once veri...