Maximal air bubble entrainment at liquid-drop impact

Wilco Bouwhuis, Roeland C.A. van der Veen, Tuan Tran, Diederik L. Keij, Koen G. Winkels, Ivo R. Peters, Devaraj van der Meer, Chao Sun, Jacco H. Snoeijer, Detlef Lohse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

130 Downloads (Pure)


At impact of a liquid drop on a solid surface, an air bubble can be entrapped. Here, we show that two competing effects minimize the (relative) size of this entrained air bubble: for large drop impact velocity and large droplets, the inertia of the liquid flattens the entrained bubble, whereas for small impact velocity and small droplets, capillary forces minimize the entrained bubble. However, we demonstrate experimentally, theoretically, and numerically that in between there is an optimum, leading to maximal air bubble entrapment. For a 1.8 mm diameter ethanol droplet, this optimum is achieved at an impact velocity of 0:25 m=s. Our results have a strong bearing on various applications in printing technology, microelectronics, immersion lithography, diagnostics, or agriculture
Original languageEnglish
Article number264501
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • METIS-291559
  • IR-82835


Dive into the research topics of 'Maximal air bubble entrainment at liquid-drop impact'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this