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Author Willmott, Geoff R. ♦ Neto, Chiara ♦ Hendy, Shaun C.
Source arXiv.org
Content type Text
File Format PDF
Date of Submission 2010-02-02
Language English
Subject Domain (in DDC) Computer science, information & general works ♦ Natural sciences & mathematics ♦ Physics
Subject Keyword Physics - Fluid Dynamics ♦ Physics - Classical Physics ♦ physics:physics
Abstract We present direct experimental evidence that water droplets can spontaneously penetrate non-wetting capillaries, driven by the action of Laplace pressure due to high droplet curvature. Using high-speed optical imaging, microcapillaries of radius 50 to 150 micron, and water microdroplets of average radius between 100 and 1900 micron, we demonstrate that there is a critical droplet radius below which water droplets can be taken up by hydrophobised glass and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) capillaries. The rate of capillary uptake is shown to depend strongly on droplet size, with smaller droplets being absorbed more quickly. Droplet size is also shown to influence meniscus motion in a pre-filled non-wetting capillary, and quantitative measurements of this effect result in a derived water-PTFE static contact angle between 96 degrees and 114 degrees. Our measurements confirm recent theoretical predictions and simulations for metal nanodroplets penetrating carbon nanotubes (CNTs). The results are relevant to a wide range of technological applications, such as microfluidic devices, ink-jet printing, and the penetration of fluids in porous materials.
Educational Use Research
Learning Resource Type Article


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