Surface tension-driven convection patterns in two liquid layers

Anne Juel, John M. Burgess, W. D. McCormick, J. B. Swift, Harry L. Swinney

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Two superposed liquid layers display a variety of convective phenomena that are inaccessible in the traditional system where the upper layer is a gas. We consider several pairs of immiscible liquids. Once the liquids have been selected, the applied temperature difference and the depths of the layers are the only independent control parameters. Using a perfluorinated hydrocarbon and silicone oil system, we have made the first experimental observation of convection with the top plate hotter than the bottom plate. Since the system is stably stratified, this convective flow is solely due to thermocapillary forces. We also have found oscillatory convection at onset in an acetonitrile and n-hexane system heated from below. The experimental observations are in reasonable agreement with linear stability analyses.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)169-186
    Number of pages17
    JournalPhysica D: Nonlinear Phenomena
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2000


    • Benard-Marangoni convection; oscillatory convection; convection heating from above; thermo-solutal


    Dive into the research topics of 'Surface tension-driven convection patterns in two liquid layers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this