Moving Contact Lines: Scales, Regimes, and Dynamical Transitions

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541 Citations (Scopus)


The speed at which a liquid can move over a solid surface is strongly limited when a three-phase contact line is present, separating wet from dry regions. When enforcing large contact line speeds, this leads to the entrainment of drops, films, or air bubbles. In this review, we discuss experimental and theoretical progress revealing the physical mechanisms behind these dynamical wetting transitions. In this context, we discuss microscopic processes that have been proposed to resolve the moving–contact line paradox and identify the different dynamical regimes of contact line motion
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-292
Number of pages24
JournalAnnual review of fluid mechanics
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • IR-82863
  • METIS-291630


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