Charge-Induced Saffman-Taylor Instabilities in Toroidal Droplets
AbstractWe show that charged toroidal droplets can develop fingerlike structures as they expand due to Saffman-Taylor instabilities. While these are commonly observed in quasi-two-dimensional geometries when a fluid displaces another fluid of higher viscosity, we show that the toroidal confinement breaks the symmetry of the problem, effectively making it quasi-two-dimensional and enabling the instability to develop in this three-dimensional situation. We control the expansion speed of the torus with the imposed electric stress and show that fingers are observed provided the characteristic time scale associated with this instability is smaller than the characteristic time scale associated with Rayleigh-Plateau break-up. We confirm our interpretation of the results by showing that the number of fingers is consistent with expectations from linear stability analysis in radial Hele-Shaw cells.