The droplet impact process on a solid surface is divided into a spreading phase where the droplet reaches the maximum deformation followed by a retracting phase. However, in the case of surfaces with high contact angle hysteresis, these two phases are connected by a relaxation phase where the contact angle changes from the advancing to the receding contact angle almost without motion of the contact line. Although the relaxation time can represent a significant part of the total droplet contact time, this relaxation regime has been less explored, especially for superhydrophobic surfaces due to the challenge of designing such surfaces with controlled wetting properties. Here, we show that for superhydrophobic surfaces with large contact angle hysteresis, the relaxation time can be comparable to the spreading and retracting time. Our results indicate that both the contact angle hysteresis and the capillary forces play a major role in defining the relaxation time and that relaxation time scales with the inertial–capillary time when using the droplet relative deformation as the characteristic length scale for this relaxation regime.
Relaxation phase during droplet impact on superhydrophobic surfaces with high contact angle hysteresis
W. Zhang, C. A. Dorao, M. Fernandino; Relaxation phase during droplet impact on superhydrophobic surfaces with high contact angle hysteresis. Appl. Phys. Lett. 11 September 2023; 123 (11): 111602. https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0165863
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