Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

How drops start sliding over solid surfaces

Abstract

It has been known for more than 200 years that the maximum static friction force between two solid surfaces is usually greater than the kinetic friction force—the force that is required to maintain the relative motion of the surfaces once the static force has been overcome. But the forces that impede the lateral motion of a drop of liquid on a solid surface are not as well characterized, and there is a lack of understanding about liquid–solid friction in general. Here, we report that the lateral adhesion force between a liquid drop and a solid can also be divided into a static and a kinetic regime. This striking analogy with solid–solid friction is a generic phenomenon that holds for liquids of different polarities and surface tensions on smooth, rough and structured surfaces.

This is a preview of subscription content

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Schematics of friction force measurements.
Figure 2: Lateral adhesion force experiment of a drop of ionic liquid (volume ≈1.5 μl) on a fluorinated silicon wafer.
Figure 3: Lateral adhesion forces for drops of different liquids on solid surfaces.
Figure 4: Velocity dependence of lateral adhesion forces.
Figure 5: Lateral adhesion force measurement of a water drop on a goose feather.

References

  1. 1

    Archard, J. F. Contact and rubbing of flat surfaces. J. Appl. Phys. 24, 981–988 (1953).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    Persson, B. T. in Encyclopedia of Lubricants and Lubrication (ed. Mang, T.) Ch. 80, 791–797 (Springer, 2014).

    Book  Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    Butt, H.-J. & Kappl, M. Friction (Wiley-VCH GmbH & Co. KGaA, 2010).

    Google Scholar 

  4. 4

    Shestopalov, I., Tice, J. D. & Ismagilov, R. F. Multi-step synthesis of nanoparticles performed on millisecond time scale in a microfluidic droplet-based system. Lab Chip 4, 316–321 (2004).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Calvert, P. Inkjet printing for materials and devices. Chem. Mater. 13, 3299–3305 (2001).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    Cheng, P., Quan, X., Gong, S., Liu, X. & Yang, L. in Advances in Heat Transfer Vol. 46 (eds Cho, Y. I., Abraham, J. P., Sparrow, E. M. & Gorman, J. M.) 187–248 (Elsevier, 2014).

    Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    Rykaczewski, K. et al. Dropwise condensation of low surface tension fluids on omniphobic surfaces. Sci. Rep. 4, 4158 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8

    Zheng, Y. et al. Directional water collection on wetted spider silk. Nature 463, 640–643 (2010).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9

    Park, K.-C., Chhatre, S. S., Srinivasan, S., Cohen, R. E. & McKinley, G. H. Optimal design of permeable fiber network structures for fog harvesting. Langmuir 29, 13269–13277 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10

    Bowden, F. P. & Tabor, D. The Friction and Lubrication of Solids (Clarendon, 2001).

    MATH  Google Scholar 

  11. 11

    Bhushan, B., Israelachvili, J. N. & Landman, U. Nanotribology: friction, wear and lubrication at the atomic scale. Nature 374, 607–616 (1995).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12

    Semprebon, C. & Brinkmann, M. On the onset of motion of sliding drops. Soft Matter 10, 3325–3334 (2014).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13

    Extrand, C. W. & Gent, A. N. Retention of liquid drops by solid surfaces. J. Colloid Interface Sci. 138, 431–442 (1990).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14

    Brown, R. A., Orr, F. M. Jr & Scriven, L. E. Static drop on an inclined plate: Analysis by the finite element method. J. Colloid Interface Sci. 73, 76–87 (1980).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15

    Extrand, C. W. & Kumagai, Y. Liquid drops on an inclined plane: the relation between contact angles, drop shape, and retentive force. J. Colloid Interface Sci. 170, 515–521 (1995).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16

    Frenkel, Y. I. On the behaviour of drops of liquid on the surface of a solid. I. Sliding of drops on an inclined plane. J. Exp. Theor. Phys. 18, 658–667 (1948).

    Google Scholar 

  17. 17

    Kawasaki, K. Study of wettability of polymers by sliding of water drop. J. Colloid Sci. 15, 402–407 (1960).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. 18

    ElSherbini, A. & Jacobi, A. Retention forces and contact angles for critical liquid drops on non-horizontal surfaces. J. Colloid Interface Sci. 299, 841–849 (2006).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  19. 19

    Dussan, V. On the ability of drops to stick to surfaces of solids. Part 3. The influences of the motion of the surrounding fluid on dislodging drops. J. Fluid Mech. 174, 381–397 (1987).

    ADS  MATH  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20

    Wolfram, E. & Faust, R. in Wetting, Spreading, and Adhesion (ed. Padday, J. F.) 213 (Academic, 1978).

    Google Scholar 

  21. 21

    Antonini, C., Carmona, F. J., Pierce, E., Marengo, M. & Amirfazli, A. General methodology for evaluating the adhesion force of drops and bubbles on solid surfaces. Langmuir 25, 6143–6154 (2009).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. 22

    Berejnov, V. & Thorne, R. E. Effect of transient pinning on stability of drops sitting on an inclined plane. Phys. Rev. E 75, 066308 (2007).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  23. 23

    Tadmor, R. et al. Measurement of lateral adhesion forces at the interface between a liquid drop and a substrate. Phys. Rev. Lett. 103, 266101 (2009).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  24. 24

    Timonen, J. V. I., Latikka, M., Ikkala, O. & Ras, R. H. A. Free-decay and resonant methods for investigating the fundamental limit of superhydrophobicity. Nat. Commun. 4, 2398 (2013).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  25. 25

    Lagubeau, G., Le Merrer, M., Clanet, C. & Quere, D. Leidenfrost on a ratchet. Nat. Phys. 7, 395–398 (2011).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. 26

    Pilat, D. W. et al. Dynamic measurement of the force required to move a liquid drop on a solid surface. Langmuir 28, 16812–16820 (2012).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. 27

    ’t Mannetje, D. et al. Electrically tunable wetting defects characterized by a simple capillary force sensor. Langmuir 29, 9944–9949 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. 28

    Olin, P., Lindström, S. B., Pettersson, T. & Wågberg, L. Water drop friction on superhydrophobic surfaces. Langmuir 29, 9079–9089 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. 29

    Pierce, E., Carmona, F. J. & Amirfazli, A. Understanding of sliding and contact angle results in tilted plate experiments. Colloids Surf. A 323, 73–82 (2008).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. 30

    Sakai, M. et al. Direct observation of internal fluidity in a water droplet during sliding on hydrophobic surfaces. Langmuir 22, 4906–4909 (2006).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. 31

    Griffiths, P. R. Static and Dynamic Components of Droplet Friction Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering thesis, Univ. South Florida (2013).

  32. 32

    Snoeijer, J. H. & Andreotti, B. Moving contact lines: scales, regimes, and dynamical transitions. Annu. Rev. Fluid Mech. 45, 269–292 (2013).

    ADS  MathSciNet  MATH  Article  Google Scholar 

  33. 33

    Perrin, H., Lhermerout, R., Davitt, K., Rolley, E. & Andreotti, B. Defects at the nanoscale impact contact line motion at all scales. Phys. Rev. Lett. 116, 184502 (2016).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  34. 34

    Huang, K. & Szlufarska, I. Green-Kubo relation for friction at liquid-solid interfaces. Phys. Rev. E 89, 032119 (2014).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  35. 35

    Daniel, D., Timonen, J. V. I., Li, R., Velling, S. J. & Aizenberg, J. Oleoplaning droplets on lubricated surfaces. Nat. Phys. 13, 1020–1025 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. 36

    Butt, H.-J. et al. Energy dissipation of moving drops on superhydrophobic and superoleophobic surfaces. Langmuir 33, 107–116 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. 37

    Israelachvili, J. N. Intermolecular and Surface Forces (Elsevier Science, 2011).

    Google Scholar 

  38. 38

    Butt, H.-J. & Kappl, M. Surface and Interfacial Forces (Wiley, 2010).

    Book  Google Scholar 

  39. 39

    Zhang, J. & Seeger, S. Superoleophobic coatings with ultralow sliding angles based on silicone nanofilaments. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 50, 6652–6656 (2011).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  40. 40

    Artus, G. R. et al. Silicone nanofilaments and their application as superhydrophobic coatings. Adv. Mater. 18, 2758–2762 (2006).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. 41

    Papadopoulos, P., Mammen, L., Deng, X., Vollmer, D. & Butt, H.-J. How superhydrophobicity breaks down. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 110, 3254–3258 (2013).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  42. 42

    Krumpfer, J. W. & McCarthy, T. J. Contact angle hysteresis: a different view and a trivial recipe for low hysteresis hydrophobic surfaces. Faraday Discuss. 146, 103–111 (2010).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  43. 43

    Wooh, S., Koh, J. H., Lee, S., Yoon, H. & Char, K. Trilevel-structured superhydrophobic pillar arrays with tunable optical functions. Adv. Funct. Mater. 24, 5550–5556 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. 44

    Suda, H. & Yamada, S. Force measurements for the movement of a water drop on a surface with a surface tension gradient. Langmuir 19, 529–531 (2003).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  45. 45

    Johnson, K. L. Contact Mechanics (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1987).

    Google Scholar 

  46. 46

    Schellenberger, F., Encinas, N., Vollmer, D. & Butt, H.-J. How water advances on superhydrophobic surfaces. Phys. Rev. Lett. 116, 096101 (2016).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

We thank G. Auernhammer, M. Bonn, N. Encinas, M. Kappl, T. Kajiya, P. Papadopoulos, F. Schellenberger, W. Steffen and D. Wang for simulating discussions, and M. Bach, G. Glaser and G. Schäfer for technical support. This work was supported by the Collaborative Research Center 1194 (H.-J.B.), ERC advanced grant 340391 SUPRO (H.-J.B.), SPP 8173 (D.V.) and the EU Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant 722497 (D.V.). N.G. thanks the National Postdoctoral Science Foundation of China for the International Postdoctoral Fellowship, and S.W. thanks the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for a postdoctoral fellowship. D.W.P. is grateful for funding from the German National Academic Foundation.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

N.G. carried out the experiments and wrote the manuscript. D.W.P., N.G., R.B. and H.-J.B. designed and constructed the homebuilt set-up. F.G. and S.W. prepared the solid surfaces. R.B., D.V., N.G. and H.-J.B. contributed to the experimental planning, data analysis, and manuscript preparation. All authors reviewed and approved the manuscript.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Nan Gao or Rüdiger Berger.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Supplementary information

Supplementary information

Supplementary information (PDF 1889 kb)

Supplementary Movie

Supplementary Movie 1 (AVI 3143 kb)

Supplementary Movie

Supplementary Movie 2 (AVI 2664 kb)

Supplementary Movie

Supplementary Movie 3 (AVI 3175 kb)

Supplementary Movie

Supplementary Movie 4 (AVI 3013 kb)

Supplementary Movie

Supplementary Movie 5 (AVI 2711 kb)

Supplementary Movie

Supplementary Movie 6 (AVI 3296 kb)

Supplementary Movie

Supplementary Movie 7 (AVI 2864 kb)

Supplementary Movie

Supplementary Movie 8 (AVI 407 kb)

Supplementary Movie

Supplementary Movie 9 (AVI 1429 kb)

Supplementary Movie

Supplementary Movie 10 (AVI 374 kb)

Supplementary Movie

Supplementary Movie 11 (AVI 1356 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Gao, N., Geyer, F., Pilat, D. et al. How drops start sliding over solid surfaces. Nat. Phys. 14, 191–196 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/nphys4305

Download citation

Further reading

Search

Quick links