Evaporation and boiling


Experimental, theoretical and numerical research is conducted in parallel on both fundamental and applied aspects of evaporation and boiling. Several configurations are considered, such as liquid films, (sessile) drops and bubbles, including the coupling between microscopic effects (such as intermolecular forces acting near contact lines, or chemical/geometrical heterogeneities leading to hysteresis), and macroscopic ones (such as gravity-induced flowscapillarity, …).

The emphasis is most often on generic aspects common to several specific situations, such as for instance the occurrence of surface-tension-driven instabilities as observed for evaporating liquids films or droplets, or the influence of wetting properties on the dynamics of vapor bubbles, Leidenfrost drops and liquid/vapor menisci in heat transfer devices.

Part of this research involves the development of experiments in microgravity, such as onboard parabolic flights, sounding rockets or the International Space Station, in the framework of large-scale research networks funded by the European Space Agency. Such experiments, which typically allow to focus on the role of interfacial forces in the absence of gravity, involve the use of powerful optical techniques such as interferometryinfrared thermography, … and the development of image analysis software (such as wavelet-based techniques).

On the theoretical point of view, the multiscale nature of studied phenomenal makes asymptotic techniques (such as matched asymptotic expansions) particularly powerful to simplify complicated boundary-value problems and possibly obtain accurate analytical results.

Contact: Pierre Colinet (pcolinet@ulb.ac.be)


Selected publications

Keiser, L.,  Bense, H., Colinet, P., Bico, J., & Reyssat, E. Marangoni bursting: Evaporation-induced emulsification of binary mixtures on a liquid layer. Physical Review Letters, 118, 074504. 2017

Savva, N., Rednikov, A., & Colinet, P. Asymptotic analysis of the evaporation dynamics of partially-wetting droplets. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 824, 574-623. 2017

van Limbeek, M.A.J., Klein Schaarsberg, M.H., Sobac, B., Rednikov, A., Sun, C., Colinet, P., & Lohse, D. Leidenfrost drops cooling surfaces: theory and interferometric measurement. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 827, 614–639. 2017

Sobac, B., Rednikov, A., Dorbolo, S., & Colinet, P. Self-propelled Leidenfrost drops on a thermal gradient: a theoretical study. Physics of Fluids, 29, 082101. 2017

Mekhitarian, L., Sobac, B., Dehaeck, S., Haut, B., & Colinet, P. Evaporation dynamics of completely wetting drops on geometrically textured surfaces. Europhysics Letters, 120(1). 2017

Rednikov, A. & Colinet, P. Asymptotic analysis of the contact-line microregion for a perfectly wetting volatile liquid in a pure-vapor atmosphere. Physical Review Fluids, 2, 124006. 2017

Talbot, P., Sobac, B., Colinet, P., Rednikov, A., & Haut, B. Thermal transients during the evaporation of a spherical liquid drop. International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, 97, 803-8017. 2016


  • PhD Thesis of Loucine Mekhitarian

    Contribution to a better understanding and modelling of the drying of liquid solutions rich in bioactive compounds. PI : Benoit Haut and Pierre Colinet

    Funded by ULB
  • DITRASOL project

    Drying-Induced Phase Transitions in Solutions. PI : Pierre Colinet and Benoit Haut

    Funded by the FNRS
  • Postdoctoral position of Benjamin Sobac

    Evaporation of liquids in the presence of a complex interface. PI : Pierre Colinet and Benoit Haut

    Funded by the FNRS
  • MAP-MANBO and PRODEX Heat transfer projects

    European Network on boiling-related research, involving the preparation of experiments in microgravity. PI : Pierre Colinet

    Funded by BELSPO-ESA
  • MAP and PRODEX Evaporation projects

    European Network on evaporation-related research, involving the preparation of experiments in microgravity. PI : Pierre Colinet

    Funded by BELSPO-ESA