Spreading of droplets under the influence of intermolecular forces

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28 Scopus citations


The motion of fluid droplets under the influence of short and long range intermolecular forces is examined using a lubrication model. Surface energies as well as the microscopic contact line structure are identified in the model. A physically constructed precursor film prevents the usual stress singularity associated with a moving contact line. In the quasistatic limit, an analysis of the energy and its dissipation yield an ordinary differential equation for the rate of spreading. Two dimensional and axisymmetric solutions are found and compared to numerical simulations. The motion of the contact line is found to be both a function of the local contact angle and the overall droplet geometry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1837-1842
Number of pages6
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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