Wetting of a drop on a sphere

Burak Eral, G. Manukyan, J.M. Oh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


In this work, the equilibrium morphology of a drop on a sphere is analyzed as a function of the contact angle and drop volume experimentally and with analytical effective interfacial energy calculations. Experimentally, a drop on a sphere geometry is realized in an oil bath by placing a water drop on a sphere coated with a dielectric, of which the radii of curvature are comparable with that of the drop. Electrowetting (EW) is used to change the contact angle of the water drop on the sphere. To validate the applicability of EW and the Lippman−Young equation on nonflat surfaces, we systematically investigate the response of the contact angle to the applied voltage (EW response) for various drop volumes and compared the results with the case of a planar surface. The effective interfacial energy of two competing morphologies, namely, the spherically symmetric “completely engulfing” and “partially engulfing” morphologies are calculated analytically. The analytical calculations are then compared to the experimental results to confirm which morphology is energetically more favored for a given contact angle and drop volume. Our findings indicate that the “partially engulfing” morphology is always the energetically more favorable morphology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5340-5346
Number of pages7
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • IR-104500
  • METIS-279915


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