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Job ID: 100999

PhD studentship - Controlling Droplet Propulsion and Directionality using the Leidenfrost Effect
Northumbria University

  • Dec. 6, 2017
  • PhD studentship - Controlling Droplet Propulsion and Directionality using the Leidenfrost Effect
  • Maths, Physics and Electrical Engineering
  • Northumbria University
    Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear
    United Kingdom
  • Jan. 28, 2018
  • Oct. 1, 2018
  • Graduate Student
  • Engineering Physics
    Engineering Mechanics
    Energy Technology
    Electrical and/or Electronics
    Engineering - Other
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The Leidenfrost effect describes the state of a liquid droplet when placed on a substrate with the latter at a temperature significantly higher than the boiling point of the liquid. In this circumstance, the droplet levitates suspended by its own vapour layer approximately 100-200 nm thick, and which is generated instantaneously below the droplet. Furthermore, the droplet is insulated by said vapour layer, reducing the rate of evaporation of the droplet, despite the high substrate temperature. The aim of this work is to utilise this virtually frictionless contact between the droplet and the substrate and to gain further control of the droplet by causing propulsion and directional control using the Leidenfrost effect. Various methods of controlling droplet motion using the Leidenfrost effect have been attempted, including structuring the surface of the droplet and through the use of thermal gradients to encourage propulsion.

Previous work has successfully demonstrated droplet propulsion in both bulk and selectively heated systems. Furthermore, positional control of the droplet has been achieved in the form of self-centring. The aim of this project is to further expand upon this initial success, optimising droplet control and propulsion and demonstrating the use of this effect in specific applications. This project will design and fabricate structured patterns in to metal blocks using the Mazak to demonstrate droplet propulsion and directional control. This will be studied using high speed video in the group’s Smart Materials and Surfaces Laboratory. Further work can also take place assessing the feasibility of using photolithography at Northumbria to create micron-scaled resistors for selective Leidenfrost Effect experiments, as well as varying the coating on the samples and the liquids used to modified the Leidenfrost transition temperature.

The successful candidate will work with Dr Linzi E. Dodd, Dr Gary Wells, and colleagues in the Department of Mathematics, Physics & Electrical Engineering.

Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities ); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
• Applicants cannot apply for this funding if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see:

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. RDF18/…) will not be considered.

  • Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality and is a member of the Euraxess network, which delivers information and support to professional researchers.

Please reference in your cover letter when
applying for or inquiring about this job announcement.

Contact Information

  • Linzi Dodd
    Maths, Physics and Electrical Engineering
    Northumbria University
    Ellison Building
    Northumbria University
    Newcastle Upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear NE1 8ST
    United Kingdom


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