Potential of lattice Boltzmann to model droplets on chemically stripe-patterned substrates

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Lattice Boltzmann modelling (LBM) has recently been applied to a range of different wetting situations. Here we demonstrate its potential in representing complex kinetic effects encountered in droplets on chemically stripe-patterned surfaces. An ultimate example of the power of LBM is provided by comparing simulations and experiments of impacting droplets with varying Weber numbers. Also, the shape evolution of droplets is discussed in relation to their final shape. The latter can then be compared to Surface Evolver (SE) results, since under the proper boundary conditions both approaches should yield the same configuration in a static state. During droplet growth in LBM simulations, achieved by increasing the density within the droplet, the contact line initially advances in the direction parallel to the stripes, therewith increasing its aspect ratio. Once the volume becomes too large the droplet starts wetting additional stripes, leading to a lower aspect ratio. The maximum aspect ratio is shown to be a function of the width ratio of the hydrophobic and hydrophilic stripes and also their absolute widths. In the limit of sufficiently large stripe widths the aspect ratio is solely dependent on the relative stripe widths. The maximum droplet aspect ratio in the LBM simulations is compared to SE simulations and results are shown to be in good agreement. Additionally, we also show the ability of LBM to investigate single stripe wetting, enabling determination of the maximum aspect ratio that can be achieved in the limit of negligible hydrophobic stripe width, under the constraint that the stripe widths are large enough such that they are not easily crossed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-132
JournalApplied surface science
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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