Faceted drops on heterogeneous surfaces
Laboratoire PMMH, CNRS UMR 7636, ESPCI
10 rue Vauquelin, 75231, Paris Cedex 05, France
Accepted: 3 May 2001
We report an experimental study of the shape of large liquid drops spreading on surfaces with patterns of wettability. A heterogeneous surface exhibits multiple energy minima of free energy for the three-phase system. In particular, when the distribution of defects on the substrate is periodic (square or hexagonal), it is possible to initiate a transition between circular and faceted drops. We describe the surface growth of these liquid drops as a geometric avalanche process released by surface tension.
PACS: 68.45.Gd – Solid-fluid interfaces: Wetting
© EDP Sciences, 2001