Issue 46, 2019

Droplet leaping governs microstructured surface wetting


Microstructured surfaces that control the direction of liquid transport are not only ubiquitous in nature, but they are also central to technological processes such as fog/water harvesting, oil–water separation, and surface lubrication. However, a fundamental understanding of the initial wetting dynamics of liquids spreading on such surfaces is lacking. Here, we show that three regimes govern microstructured surface wetting on short time scales: spread, stick, and contact line leaping. The latter involves establishing a new contact line downstream of the wetting front as the liquid leaps over specific sections of the solid surface. Experimental and numerical investigations reveal how different regimes emerge in different flow directions during wetting of periodic asymmetrically microstructured surfaces. These insights improve our understanding of rapid wetting in droplet impact, splashing, and wetting of vibrating surfaces and may contribute to advances in designing structured surfaces for the mentioned applications.

Graphical abstract: Droplet leaping governs microstructured surface wetting

Supplementary files

Article information

Article type
13 Sep 2019
31 Oct 2019
First published
05 Nov 2019
This article is Open Access
Creative Commons BY license

Soft Matter, 2019,15, 9528-9536

Droplet leaping governs microstructured surface wetting

S. Yada, S. Bagheri, J. Hansson, M. Do-Quang, F. Lundell, W. van der Wijngaart and G. Amberg, Soft Matter, 2019, 15, 9528 DOI: 10.1039/C9SM01854A

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