Contact line stability of ridges and drops

S. Mechkov, G. Oshanin, M. Rauscher, Martin Brinkmann, A. M. Cazabat, S. Dietrich

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26 Citations (Scopus)


Within the framework of a semi-microscopic interface displacement model in the small slope approximation we analyze the linear stability of sessile ridges and drops of a non-volatile liquid on a homogeneous, partially wet substrate, for both signs and arbitrary amplitudes of the three-phase contact line tension. Focusing on perturbations which correspond to deformations of the three-phase contact line, we find that drops are generally stable while ridges are subject only to the long-wavelength Rayleigh-Plateau instability leading to a breakup into droplets, in contrast to the predictions of capillary models which take line tension into account. We argue that the short-wavelength instabilities predicted within the framework of the latter macroscopic capillary theory occur outside its range of validity and thus are spurious.
Original languageEnglish
Article number66002
JournalEurophysics Letters
Issue number6
Early online date19 Nov 2007
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes


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