Dynamics of collapse of air films in drop impact

Jolet de Ruiter, Jung Min Oh, Dirk van den Ende, Frieder Mugele

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Liquid drops hitting solid surfaces deform substantially under the influence of the ambient air that needs to be squeezed out before the liquid actually touches the solid. Nanometer- and microsecond-resolved dual wavelength interferometry reveals a complex evolution of the interface between the drop and the gas layer underneath. For intermediate impact speeds (We∼1…10) the layer thickness can develop one or two local minima—reproduced in numerical calculations—that eventually lead to the nucleation of solid-liquid contact at a We-dependent radial position, from a film thickness >200  nm. Solid-liquid contact spreads at a speed involving capillarity, liquid viscosity and inertia.
Original languageEnglish
Article number074505
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • METIS-282536
  • fluids
  • Physics of gases
  • 2306 and 3328)
  • 2304
  • plasmasFood technology (see also 3206 and 3302)Verbetering van de economische doelmatigheid en van het concurrentievermogenMechanicsPhysical chemistryChemical technology (see also 2303
  • IR-82007

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