Dynamics of driven three-dimensional thin films: From hydrophilic to superhydrophobic regimes

R. Ledesma-Aguilar, A. Hernández-Machado, I. Pagonabarraga

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We study the forced displacement of a thin film of fluid in contact with vertical and inclined substrates of different wetting properties, that range from hydrophilic to hydrophobic, using the lattice-Boltzmann method. We study the stability and pattern formation of the contact line in the hydrophilic and superhydrophobic regimes, which correspond to wedge-shaped and nose-shaped fronts, respectively. We find that contact lines are considerably more stable for hydrophilic substrates and small inclination angles. The qualitative behavior of the front in the linear regime remains independent of the wetting properties of the substrate as a single dispersion relation describes the stability of both wedges and noses. Nonlinear patterns show a clear dependence on wetting properties and substrate inclination angle. The effect is quantified in terms of the pattern growth rate, which vanishes for the sawtooth pattern and is finite for the finger pattern. Sawtooth shaped patterns are observed for hydrophilic substrates and low inclination angles, while finger-shaped patterns arise for hydrophobic substrates and large inclination angles. Finger dynamics show a transient in which neighboring fingers interact, followed by a steady state where each finger grows independently.
Original languageEnglish
Article number072101
Number of pages1
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number7
Early online date20 Jul 2008
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008


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