Electro-thermal convection in dielectric liquids

Peter J. Stiles*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    35 Citations (Scopus)


    An electrically insulating liquid layer, confined between horizontal conducting electrodes, the upper of which is warmer, becomes unstable with respect to the onset of steady convection when the electric field reaches a critical value. In a rapidly carying ac field this instability is due to the polarisation body force. We extend Roberts' electrohydrodynamic analysis and test the results against data of Turnbull and Melcher for polydimethylsiloxane. Quantitative between theory and experiment is obtained. We also predict critical voltages of between 0.37 and 9.3 kV to induce convection in 1 mm layers of acetonitrile, nitrobenzene, acetone, chlorobenzene, and cyclohexane when the upper electrode is at 35°C and the lower electrode at 15°C.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)311-315
    Number of pages5
    JournalChemical Physics Letters
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 19 Apr 1991


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