Enhancement of capillary forces by multiple liquid bridges

E. J. De Souza, Martin Brinkmann, C. Mohrdieck, E. Arzt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Citations (Scopus)


Capillary forces can significantly contribute to the adhesion of biological and artificial micro- and nanoscale objects. In this paper, we study numerically the effect of meniscus size on the force between two homogeneous flat plates for different contact angles. The force distance curves show excellent quantitative agreement with previous investigations. The results for n menisci of equal total liquid volume reveal interesting scaling properties and an unexpected maximum force for moderately hydrophilic surfaces (i.e., contact angles around 70°). Further, we calculate the minimum solid−liquid area for multiple bridges, the cohesive stress (i.e., force per area) between the plates, and the work required to separate them. The results are presented in two-dimensional maps, which may be useful in the understanding of biological attachment structures and in the design of artificial contact systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8813-8820
Issue number16
Early online date23 Jul 2008
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2008
Externally publishedYes


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