Europhys. Lett.
Volume 74, Number 1, April 2006
Page(s) 103 - 109
Section Condensed matter: structural, mechanical and thermal properties
Published online 01 March 2006
Europhys. Lett., 74 (1), pp. 103-109 (2006)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2006-10003-3

Electrical-field-induced curvature increase on a drop of conducting liquid

M. Bienia1, M. Vallade1, C. Quilliet1 and F. Mugele2

1  Laboratoire de Spectrométrie Physique UMR CNRS-UJF 140 avenue de la Physique, 38400 Saint-Martin-d'Hères, France
2  University of Twente, Physics of Complex Fluids P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands

received 29 July 2005; accepted in final form 9 February 2006
published online 1 March 2006

We present an analytical approach using conformal mapping to the free-boundary problem of the shape of a liquid drop submitted to a strong electrical field, as encountered in electrowetting systems. In agreement with recent numerical calculations, we show that both the curvature of the surface profile and the electric field diverge algebraically close to the three-phase line. The algebraic exponents agree with the numerical results. We show analytically that the local contact angle remains equal to Young's angle, independent of the applied voltage. Furthermore, we present experimental evidence of a curvature increase close to the contact line.

68.03.-g - Gas-liquid and vacuum-liquid interfaces.
68.08.Bc - Wetting.
83.60.Np - Effects of electric and magnetic fields.

© EDP Sciences 2006