Direct force measurement of microscopic droplets pulled along soft surfaces Thesis uri icon

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abstract

  • AbstractWhen a droplet is placed on a soft surface, surface tension deforms the substrate, creating a capillary ridge. We study how the motion of the ridge dissipates energy in microscopic droplets. Using a micropipette based method, we are able to simultaneously image and measure forces on a microscopic droplet moving at a constant speed along a soft film supported on a rigid substrate. Changing the thickness of the thin film tunes the effective stiffness of the substrate. Thus we can control the ridge size without altering the surface chemistry. We find that the dissipation depends strongly on the film thickness, decreasing monotonically as effective stiffness increases. This monotonic trend is beyond the realm of small deformation theory, but can be explained with a simple scaling analysis.

publication date

  • July 30, 2022