Surfactant-driven spreading of a liquid on a vertical surface

S. He*, J. B. Ketterson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The spreading behavior of a liquid on the surface of a solid substrate is greatly changed by the presence of a molecular layer of organic material (a surfactant) on the liquid surface. In this work, we studied the spreading of water covered by a monolayer of valinomycin on a vertical glass slide, using an apparatus for Langmuir-Blodgett film deposition. The rate of spreading strongly depends on the surfactant concentration, and the spreading front is highly unstable: it bifurcates while spreading, forming tree-like patterns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2640-2647
Number of pages8
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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