Symmetric and Asymmetric Coalescence of Drops on a Substrate

J.F. Hernandez Sanchez, L.A. Lubbers, A.C.A. Eddi, J.H. Snoeijer

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49 Citations (Scopus)
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The coalescence of viscous drops on a substrate is studied experimentally and theoretically. We consider cases where the drops can have different contact angles, leading to a very asymmetric coalescence process. Side view experiments reveal that the “bridge” connecting the drops evolves with self-similar dynamics, providing a new perspective on the coalescence of sessile drops. We show that the universal shape of the bridge is accurately described by similarity solutions of the one-dimensional lubrication equation. Our theory predicts that, once the drops are connected on a microscopic scale, the bridge grows linearly in time with a strong dependence on the contact angles. Without any adjustable parameters, we find quantitative agreement with all experiments
Original languageEnglish
Article number184502
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • IR-83133
  • METIS-292948


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