Communications in Mathematical Sciences

Volume 10 (2012)

Number 4

Hydrodynamic boundary conditions for one-component liquid-gas flows on non-isothermal solid substrates

Pages: 1027 – 1053



Chun Liu (Department of Mathematics, Pennsylvania State University, University Park)

Tiezheng Qian (KAUST-HKUST Micro/Nanofluidics Joint Laboratory, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)

Xinpeng Xu (Nano Science and Technology (NSNT) Program, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)


Recently, liquid-gas flows related to droplets, bubbles, and thin films on solid surfaces with thermal and wettability gradients have attracted widespread attention because of the many physical processes involved and their promising potential applications in biology, chemistry, and industry. Various new physical effects have been discovered at fluid-solid interfaces by experiments and molecular dynamics simulations, e.g., fluid velocity slip, temperature slip (Kapitza resistance), mechanical-thermal cross coupling, etc. There have been various models and theories proposed to explain these experimental and numerical observations. However, to the best of our knowledge, a continuum hydrodynamic model capable of predicting the temperature and velocity profiles of liquid-gas flows on non-isothermal, heterogeneous solid substrates is still absent. The purpose of this work is to construct a continuum model for simulating the liquid-gas flows on solid surfaces that are flat and rigid, and may involve wettability gradients and thermal gradients. This model is able to describe fluid velocity slip, temperature slip, and mechanical-thermal coupling that may occur at fluid-solid interfaces. For this purpose, we first employ the diffuse interface modeling to formulate the hydrodynamic equations for one-component liquid-gas flows in the bulk region. This reproduces the dynamic van der Waals theory of Onuki [Phys. Rev. Lett., 94: 054501, 2005]. We then extendWaldmann’s method [Z. Naturforsch. A, 22: 1269-1280, 1967] to formulate the boundary conditions at the fluid-solid interface that match the hydrodynamic equations in the bulk. The effects of the solid surface curvature are also briefly discussed in the appendix. The guiding principles of our model derivation are the conservation laws and the positive definiteness of entropy production together with the Onsager reciprocal relation. The derived model is self-consistent in the sense that the boundary conditions are mathematically demanded by the bulk equations. A finite difference scheme is presented for numerically solving the model system. We show that some widely used boundary conditions can actually be recovered by taking appropriate limits. We also point out that the framework presented here for modeling two-phase flows on solid surfaces, from bulk equations to boundary conditions, is in a form that can be readily generalized to model other fluid-solid interfacial phenomena.


one-component two-phase flow, liquid-gas phase transition, fluid-solid interface, wall slip

2010 Mathematics Subject Classification

76T10, 82C21

Published 23 July 2012