Paradox of Contact Angle Selection on Stretched Soft Solids

Jacco H. Snoeijer (Corresponding Author), Etienne Rolley, Bruno Andreotti

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Abstract

The interfacial mechanics of soft elastic networks plays a central role in biological and technological contexts. Yet, effects of solid capillarity have remained controversial, primarily due to the strain-dependent surface energy. Here we derive the equations that govern the selection of contact angles of liquid drops on elastic surfaces from variational principles. It is found that the substrate's elasticity imposes a nontrivial condition that relates pinning, hysteresis, and contact line mobility to the so-called Shuttleworth effect. We experimentally validate our theory for droplets on a silicone gel, revealing an enhanced contact line mobility when stretching the substrate.

Original languageEnglish
Article number068003
JournalPhysical review letters
Volume121
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2018

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