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Issue 24, 2011
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Microscopic structure influencing macroscopic splash at high Weber number

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The dynamics of water drop impact at high impinging velocity onto superhydrophobic substrates is experimentally investigated. The solid substrate—comprised of regular and hydrophobic micropillars—is transparent, thereby facilitating close-up, top-or-bottom-view, high-speed imaging. With a sufficient impact velocity, instead of a completely-bouncing “Fakir” droplet, wetting splashing can occur, with an entrapped air bubble at the centre surrounded by a wetted area as well as an emission of satellite droplets during the advancing phase of spreading lamella. A large portion of the lamella travels upon air and subsequently recoils due to surface tension, forming a partial rebound on the central wet spot. We present and discuss quantitative results of the entrapped air bubble, the central wetted area, and the maximal spreading lamella as the impact velocity is increased. We further vary the lattice periodicity of the micro-patterns and find its profound influence on the macroscopic flow. More specifically, directional splashing can emerge, emitting secondary droplets in certain directions which are associated with the lattice. Directional splashing can be suppressed to a gentle spreading by decreasing the periodicity of the lattice and, furthermore, can be tuned to a completely-wetting splashing in the diagonal directions of the lattice by a larger periodicity, offering opportunities to control the wetting process. Finally, the elimination of directional splashing by reducing air pressure suggests that the underlying air is squeezed outwards by the falling droplet upon the solid boundary whereby the air flow is affected, leading to different splashing behavior.

Graphical abstract: Microscopic structure influencing macroscopic splash at high Weber number

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Publication details

The article was received on 02 May 2011, accepted on 05 Jul 2011 and first published on 13 Sep 2011

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C1SM05801K
Soft Matter, 2011,7, 11325-11333

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    Microscopic structure influencing macroscopic splash at high Weber number

    P. Tsai, M. H. W. Hendrix, R. R. M. Dijkstra, L. Shui and D. Lohse, Soft Matter, 2011, 7, 11325
    DOI: 10.1039/C1SM05801K

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