Transient modes of an electrified fluid interface are investigated, specifically, (a) intermittent or pulsed cone-jet mode and (b) smooth and abrupt transitions of the interface in response to a step voltage. These modes were studied experimentally by capturing the motion of the interface and measuring the emitted ion current (via electrospray) as they occur. The observed phenomena are described using an analytical model for the equilibrium of an electrified fluid interface, and the effect of operational parameters on the transient modes is discussed. Pressure, which is related to the supplied flow rate, significantly influences the behavior of the transient modes. It is useful to understand transient modes so they can be avoided in applications that require a stable electrospray. However, with improved knowledge, the modes studied here can assist in the development of specialized applications.

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