Meniscus formation in a capillary and the role of contact line friction†
We studied spontaneous formation of an internal meniscus by dipping glass capillaries of 25 μm to 350 μm radii into low volatile hexadecane and tributyl phosphate. X-ray phase contrast and high speed optical microscopy imaging were employed. We showed that the meniscus completes its formation when the liquid column is still shorter than the capillary radius. After that, the meniscus travels about ten capillary radii at a constant velocity. We demonstrated that the experimental observations can be explained by introducing a friction force linearly proportional to the meniscus velocity with a friction coefficient depending on the air/liquid/solid triplet. It was demonstrated that the friction coefficient does not depend on the capillary radius. Numerical solution of the force balance equation revealed four different uptake regimes that can be specified in a phase portrait. This phase portrait was found to be in good agreement with the experimental results and can be used as a guide for the design of thin porous absorbers.