Modelling the superspreading of surfactant-laden droplets with computer simulation†
The surfactant-driven superspreading of droplets on hydrophobic substrates is considered. A key element of the superspreading mechanism is the adsorption of surfactant molecules from the liquid–vapour interface onto the substrate through the contact line, which must be coordinated with the replenishment of interfaces with surfactant from the interior of the droplet. We use molecular dynamics simulations with coarse-grained force fields to provide a detailed structural description of the droplet shape and surfactant dynamics during the superspreading process. We also provide a simple method for accurate estimation of the contact angle subtended by the droplets at the contact line.