Mixed mode of dissolving immersed nanodroplets at a solid–water interface

Xuehua Zhang*, Jun Wang, Lei Bao, Erik Dietrich, Roeland C.A. van der Veen, Shuhua Peng, James Friend, Harold J.W. Zandvliet, Leslie Yeo, Detlef Lohse

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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The dissolution dynamics of microscopic oil droplets (less than 1 μm in height, i.e. nanodroplets) on a hydrophobilized silicon surface in water was experimentally studied. The lateral diameter was monitored using confocal microscopy, whereas the contact angle was measured by (disruptive) droplet polymerisation of the droplet. In general, we observed the droplets to dissolve in a mixed mode, i.e., neither in the constant contact angle mode nor in the constant contact radius mode. This means that both the lateral diameter and the contact angle of the nanodroplets decrease during the dissolution process. On average, the dissolution rate is faster for droplets with larger initial size. Droplets with the same initial size can, however, possess different dissolution rates. We ascribe the non-universal dissolution rates to chemical and geometric surface heterogeneities (that lead to contact line pinning) and cooperative effects from the mass exchange among neighbouring droplets.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1889-1900
Number of pages12
JournalSoft matter
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jan 2015


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