Contact Line Friction in Dynamic Wetting

From the July 2018 release of Physical Review Fluids (v. 3 art. 074201):

Molecular origin of contact line friction in dynamic wetting

Petter Johansson & Berk Hess

A hydrophilic liquid, such as water, forms hydrogen bonds with a hydrophilic substrate. The strength and locality of the hydrogen bonding interactions prohibit slip of the liquid over the substrate. The question then arises how the contact line can advance during wetting. Using large-scale molecular dynamics simulations we show that the contact line advances by single molecules moving ahead of the contact line through two distinct processes: either moving over or displacing other liquid molecules. In both processes friction occurs at the molecular scale. We measure the energy dissipation at the contact line and show that it is of the same magnitude as the dissipation in the bulk of a droplet. The friction increases significantly as the contact angle decreases, which suggests suggests thermal activation plays a role. We provide a simple model that is consistent with the observations.

Read the full publication here.