Moffatt vortices induced by the motion of a contact line

E. Kirkinis*, S. H. Davis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


A recent hydrodynamic theory of liquid slippage on a solid substrate (Kirkinis & Davis, Phys. Rev. Lett., vol. 110, 2013, 234503) gives rise to a sequence of eddies (Moffatt vortices) that co-move with a moving contact line (CL) in a liquid wedge. The presence of these vortices is established through secular equations that depend on the dynamic contact angle α and capillary number Ca. The limiting case α → 0 is associated with the appearance of such vortices in a channel. The vortices are generated by the relative motion of the interfaces, which in turn is due to the motion of the CL. This effect has yet to be observed in experiment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberR3
JournalJournal of fluid Mechanics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 4 2014


  • capillary flows
  • contact lines
  • thin films

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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