Stick-slip to sliding transition of dynamic contact lines under AC electrowetting

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We show that at low velocities the dynamics of a contact line of a water drop moving over a Teflon-like surface under ac electrowetting must be described as stick–slip motion, rather than one continuous movement. At high velocities we observe a transition to a slipping regime. In the slipping regime the observed dependence of the contact angle is well described by a linearization of both the hydrodynamic and the molecular-kinetic model for the dynamic contact line behavior. The overall geometry of the drop also has a strong influence on the contact angle: if the drop is confined to a disk-like shape with radius R, much larger than the capillary length, and height h, smaller than the capillary length, the advancing angle increases steeper with velocity as the aspect ratio h/R is smaller. Although influence of the flow field near a contact line on the contact angle behavior has also been observed in other experiments, these observations do not fit either model. Finally, in our ac experiments no sudden increase of the hysteresis beyond a certain voltage and velocity was observed, as reported by other authors for a dc voltage, but instead we find with increasing voltage a steady decrease of the hysteresis
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15116-15121
Issue number48
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • METIS-300593
  • IR-88585


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