Liquid drops start spreading directly after coming into contact with a partially wetting substrate. Although this phenomenon involves a three-phase contact line, the spreading motion is very fast. We study the initial spreading dynamics of low-viscosity drops using two complementary methods: molecular dynamics simulations and high-speed imaging. We access previously unexplored length and time scales and provide a detailed picture on how the initial contact between the liquid drop and the solid is established. Both methods unambiguously point toward a spreading regime that is independent of wettability, with the contact radius growing as the square root of time.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Physical review E: Statistical, nonlinear, and soft matter physics|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|