Effects of surfactant on droplet spreading

Matthew A. Clay*, Michael J. Miksis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


The effects of surfactant and temperature on the spreading of a viscous droplet are studied. Lubrication theory is used to develop a model for the evolution of the droplet. The surfactant is assumed to be insoluble and transport onto and off of the droplet interface at the contact line is allowed. A linear temperature gradient plus a gradient in the surface energy are allowed along the substrate. We find that these effects together can increase the speed of the translation of the droplet. We also find that allowing the static contact angle to vary with the surfactant concentration and temperature, as described by Young's law, can speed up droplet motion. When contact angle hysteresis is allowed, it is possible for the droplet to stop moving when surfactant transport is allowed along the interface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3070-3078
Number of pages9
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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