The Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford, Eprints Archive

Capillary deformations of bendable films

Schroll, R. D. and Adda-Bedia, M. and Cerda, E. and Huang, J. and Menon, N. and Russell, T. P. and Toga, K. B. and Vella, D. and Davidovitch, B. (2013) Capillary deformations of bendable films. Physical Review Letters . (Submitted)



We address the partial wetting of liquid drops on ultrathin solid sheets resting on a deformable foundation. Considering the membrane limit of sheets that can relax compression through wrinkling at negligible energetic cost, we revisit the classical theory for the contact of liquid drops on solids. Our calculations and experiments show that the liquid-solid-vapor contact angle is modified from the Young angle, even though the elastic bulk modulus (E) of the sheet is so large that the ratio between the surface tension γ and E is of molecular size. This finding establishes a new type of “soft capillarity” that stems from the bendability of thin elastic bodies rather than from material softness. We also show that the size of the wrinkle pattern that emerges in the sheet is fully predictable, thus resolving a puzzle noticed in several previous attempts to model “drop-on-a-floating-sheet” experiments, and enabling a reliable usage of this setup for the metrology of ultrathin films.

Item Type:Article
Subjects:D - G > General
Research Groups:Oxford Centre for Collaborative Applied Mathematics
ID Code:1682
Deposited By: Peter Hudston
Deposited On:23 Feb 2013 08:43
Last Modified:29 May 2015 19:22

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