Lattice Boltzmann modeling of directional wetting: Comparing simulations to experiments

H. Patrick Jansen, Kai Sotthewes, Jeroen van Swigchem, Harold J.W. Zandvliet, E. Stefan Kooij

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Lattice Boltzmann Modeling (LBM) simulations were performed on the dynamic behavior of liquid droplets on chemically striped patterned surfaces, ultimately with the aim to develop a predictive tool enabling reliable design of future experiments. The simulations accurately mimic experimental results, which have shown that water droplets on such surfaces adopt an elongated shape due to anisotropic preferential spreading. Details of the contact line motion such as advancing of the contact line in the direction perpendicular to the stripes exhibit pronounced similarities in experiments and simulations. The opposite of spreading, i.e., evaporation of water droplets, leads to a characteristic receding motion first in the direction parallel to the stripes, while the contact line remains pinned perpendicular to the stripes. Only when the aspect ratio is close to unity, the contact line also starts to recede in the perpendicular direction. Very similar behavior was observed in the LBM simulations. Finally, droplet movement can be induced by a gradient in surface wettability. LBM simulations show good semiquantitative agreement with experimental results of decanol droplets on a well-defined striped gradient, which move from high- to low-contact angle surfaces. Similarities and differences for all systems are described and discussed in terms of the predictive capabilities of LBM simulations to model direction wetting.
Original languageEnglish
Article number013008
Number of pages10
JournalPhysical review E: covering statistical, nonlinear, biological, and soft matter physics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • METIS-296974
  • IR-89948

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