Initial spreading of low-viscosity drops on partially wetting surfaces

Koen G. Winkels, Joost H. Weijs, Antonin Eddi, Jacco H. Snoeijer

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105 Citations (Scopus)
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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.
Original languageEnglish
Article number055301(R)
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical review E: Statistical, nonlinear, and soft matter physics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • METIS-288414
  • IR-81791


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