Topography driven spreading

Glen McHale, Neil Shirtcliffe, Sanaa Aqil, Carole Perry, Michael Newton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

204 Citations (Scopus)
20 Downloads (Pure)


Roughening a hydrophobic surface enhances its nonwetting properties into superhydrophobicity. For liquids other than water, roughness can induce a complete rollup of a droplet. However, topographic effects can also enhance partial wetting by a given liquid into complete wetting to create superwetting. In this work, a model system of spreading droplets of a nonvolatile liquid on surfaces having lithographically produced pillars is used to show that superwetting also modifies the dynamics of spreading. The edge speed-dynamic contact angle relation is shown to obey a simple power law, and such power laws are shown to apply to naturally occurring surfaces.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)036102
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jul 2004


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