Bubble formation during the collision of a sessile drop with a meniscus

D.L. Keij, K.G. Winkels, H. Castelijns, M. Riepen, Jacobus Hendrikus Snoeijer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The impact of a sessile droplet with a moving meniscus, as encountered in processes such as dip-coating, generically leads to the entrapment of small air bubbles. Here we experimentally study this process of bubble formation by looking through the liquid using high-speed imaging. Our central finding is that the size of the entrapped bubble crucially depends on the location where coalescence between the drop and the moving meniscus is initiated: (i) at a finite height above the substrate, or (ii) exactly at the contact line. In the first case, we typically find bubble sizes of the order of a few μm, independent of the size and speed of the impacting drop. By contrast, the bubbles that are formed when coalescence starts at the contact line become increasingly large, as the size or the velocity of the impacting drop is increased. We show how these observations can be explained from a balance between the lubrication pressure in the air layer and the capillary pressure of the drop
Original languageEnglish
Article number082005
Pages (from-to)082005-1-082005-13
Number of pages13
JournalPhysics of fluids
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • IR-89970
  • METIS-297846


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