Drop impact on viscous liquid films

Vatsal Sanjay, Srinath Lakshman, Pierre Chantelot, Jacco H. Snoeijer, Detlef Lohse

Research output: Working paperPreprintAcademic

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When a liquid drop falls on a solid substrate, the air layer in between them delays the occurrence of liquid--solid contact. For impacts on smooth substrates, the air film can even prevent wetting, allowing the drop to bounce off with dynamics identical to that observed for impacts on superamphiphobic materials. In this article, we investigate similar bouncing phenomena, occurring on viscous liquid films, that mimic atomically smooth substrates, with the goal to probe their effective repellency. In the case of highly viscous or very thin films, the impact dynamics are not affected by the presence of the viscous film. Within this substrate--independent limit, bouncing is suppressed once the drop viscosity exceeds a critical value as on superamphiphobic substrates. For thicker or less viscous films, both the drop and film properties influence the rebound dynamics and conspire to inhibit bouncing above a critical film thickness. This substrate--dependent regime also admits a limit, for low viscosity drops, in which the film properties alone determine the limits of repellency. We elucidate the mechanisms associated to the bouncing to floating transition using experiments, simulations, and a minimal model that predicts the main characteristics of drop impact, the contact time, and the coefficient of restitution.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2022


  • physics.flu-dyn
  • cond-mat.soft


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    Lakshman, S., 5 Oct 2022, Enschede: University of Twente. 148 p.

    Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

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  • Viscous Free-Surface Flows

    Sanjay, V., 15 Jul 2022, Enschede: University of Twente. 306 p.

    Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

    Open Access
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