A perturbation analysis of a simplified set of the Navier-Stokes equations was conducted to investigate the transport process of an evaporating and/or condensing thin liquid film. Expression of the wave growth rate was obtained by accounting for the phase transition at the interface and surface tension gradients. Effects of the surface tension gradient and phase transition on the stability were investigated by introducing two dimensionless parameters, the Marangoni number, Ma, and the phase transition number, ζ, respectively. The present investigation also provides several reasonable theoretical explanations of the fundamental characteristics of dropwise and pseudo-dropwise condensation.

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