Volume 86, Number 2, April 2009
Article Number 24006
Number of page(s) 6
Section Electromagnetism, Optics, Acoustics, Heat Transfer, Classical Mechanics, and Fluid Dynamics
Published online 06 May 2009
EPL, 86 (2009) 24006
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/86/24006

Depinning of three-dimensional drops from wettability defects

Ph. Beltrame1, P. Hänggi1 and U. Thiele2

1   Institut für Physik, Universität Augsburg - D-86135 Augsburg, Germany
2   Department of Mathematical Sciences, Loughborough University - Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3TU, UK

received 5 November 2008; accepted in final form 31 March 2009; published April 2009
published online 6 May 2009

Substrate defects crucially influence the onset of sliding drop motion under lateral driving. A finite force is necessary to overcome the pinning influence even of microscale heterogeneities. The depinning dynamics of three-dimensional drops is studied for hydrophilic and hydrophobic wettability defects using a long-wave evolution equation for the film thickness profile. The model is studied employing effective algorithms for the parameter continuation of pinned steady drops and for the time simulation of the dynamics of sliding drops that perform a stick-slip motion. The discussion focuses on common features and significant differences of the depinning process for three-dimensional and two-dimensional drops.

47.20.Ky - Nonlinearity, bifurcation, and symmetry breaking.
47.55.D- - Drops and bubbles.
68.08.-p - Liquid-solid interfaces.

© EPLA 2009