Marangoni convection-driven laser fountains on free surfaces of liquids

Feng Lin, Aamir Nasir Quraishy, Tian Tong, Runjia Li, Guang Yang, Mohammadjavad Mohebinia, Yi Qiu, Talari Vishal, Junyi Zhao, Wei Zhang, Hong Zhong, Hang Zhang, Zhongchen Chen, Chaofu Zhou, Xin Tong, Peng Yu, Jonathan Hu, Suchuan Dong, Dong Liu, Zhiming WangJohn R. Schaibley, Jiming Bao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


It is well known that an outward Marangoni convection from a low surface tension region will make the free surface of a liquid depressed. Here, we report that this established perception is only valid for thin liquid films. Using surface laser heating, we show that in deep liquids a laser beam pulls up the fluid above the free surface generating fountains with different shapes, and with decreasing liquid depth a transition from fountain to indentation with fountain-in-indentation is observed. High-speed imaging captures a transient surface depression before steady elevation is formed, and computational fluid dynamics simulations reveal the underlying flow patterns and quantify the depth-dependent and time-resolved surface deformations. Systematic investigation of the effect of laser parameters, surface tension and area of the fluid on its surface deformation further confirms that the laser fountain is a result of dynamic competition between outgoing Marangoni convection and the upward recirculation flow. Experiments and simulations also reveal that a smaller surface area can dramatically strengthen laser fountain. The discovery of laser fountain and the development of related experimental and simulation techniques have upended a century–old perception and opened up a new regime of interdisciplinary research and applications of Marangoni-induced interface phenomena.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100558
JournalMaterials Today Physics
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • Laser fountains
  • Marangoni convection
  • Surface deformation
  • Surface laser heating
  • Thermocapillary force

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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