Slip-mediated dewetting of polymer microdroplets

Slip-mediated dewetting of polymer microdroplets
J. D. McGraw , T. S. Chan, S. Maurer, T. Salez, M. Benzaquen, E. Raphaël, M. Brinkmann, and K. Jacobs

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, 113 1168 (2016) [PHYS.ORG, IDW, SAARLAND UNIV.]

Classical hydrodynamic models predict that infinite work is required to move a three-phase contact line, defined here as the line where a liquid/vapor interface intersects a solid surface. Assuming a slip boundary condition, in which the liquid slides against the solid, such an unphysical prediction is avoided. In this article, we present the results of experiments in which a contact line moves and where slip is a dominating and controllable factor. Spherical cap-shaped polystyrene microdroplets, with nonequilibrium contact angle, are placed on solid self-assembled monolayer coatings from which they dewet. The relaxation is monitored using in situ atomic force microscopy. We find that slip has a strong influence on the droplet evolutions, both on the transient nonspherical shapes and contact line dynamics. The observations are in agreement with scaling analysis and boundary element numerical integration of the governing Stokes equations, including a Navier slip boundary condition.

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