Impact Forces of Water Drops Falling on Superhydrophobic Surfaces

Bin Zhang, Vatsal Sanjay, Songlin Shi, Yinggang Zhao, Cunjing Lv*, Xi-Qiao Feng, Detlef Lohse

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)
82 Downloads (Pure)


A falling liquid drop, after impact on a rigid substrate, deforms and spreads, owing to the normal reaction force. Subsequently, if the substrate is nonwetting, the drop retracts and then jumps off. As we show here, not only is the impact itself associated with a distinct peak in the temporal evolution of the normal force, but also the jump-off, which was hitherto unknown. We characterize both peaks and elucidate how they relate to the different stages of the drop impact process. The time at which the second peak appears coincides with the formation of a Worthington jet, emerging through flow focusing. Even low-velocity impacts can lead to a surprisingly high second peak in the normal force, even larger than the first one, namely when the Worthington jet becomes singular due to the collapse of an air cavity in the drop.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104501
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number10
Early online date29 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sept 2022


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