Microjetting from wave focusing on oscillating drops

S. T. Thoroddsen*, T. G. Etoh, K. Takehara

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


We present experimental observations of microjetting from an oscillating drop. The jet is generated by the focusing of axisymmetric capillary waves that overturn and collide at an apex of the drop. These jets are up to two orders of magnitude smaller than the original drops. We present two widely different configurations that produce such microjets. The first occurs on a satellite drop, produced by the pinch-off of a water drop from a vertical nozzle. The large oscillations following the contraction of the satellite bridge focus waves at the bottom, sending out a 30 μm jet at 9.9 m/s. The second jet arises when a water drop, containing surfactants, falls onto and passes through a hemispherical soap film. The gentle deformation of the drop creates a surface wave that focuses at its top, shooting out a tiny jet and entrapping a small bubble inside the drop. This jet is 16±5 μm in diameter and emerges at 6.3 m/s. In this configuration, the soap film wraps around the drop and acts as a sensor of the air flow, revealing that the liquid jet is preceded by a localized faster-moving air jet. The jetting in both configurations is quite robust and occurs even for slightly asymmetric conditions. These microjets appear for much lower values of the Reynolds and Weber numbers than previously observed, suggesting that free-surface jetting is not limited to the inviscid capillary-inertial regime, which has been the focus of much of the theoretical work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number052101
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
  • Computational Mechanics


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