Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, Vol.562, 133-141, 2020
Pumping effect of heterogeneous meniscus formed around spherical particle
Hypothesis: A disturbance such as a microparticle on the pathway of a spreading droplet has shown the tremendous ability to accelerate locally the motion of the macroscopic contact line (Mu et al., 2017). Although this ability has been linked to the particle-liquid interaction, the physical mechanisms behind it are still poorly understood despite its academic interest and the scope of numerous industrial applications in need of fast wetting. Experiments: In order to better understand the mechanisms behind the particle-liquid interaction, we numerically investigate the pressure and velocity fields in the liquid film. The results are compared to experiments assessing the temporal shape variation of the liquid-film meniscus from which pressure difference around the particle is evaluated. Findings: The particle-induced acceleration of the film front depends both on the shape of the meniscus that forms around the particle foot and the liquid "reservoir" in the film that can be pumped thanks to the presence of the particle. The study validates the presence of three stages of pressure difference between the upstream and downstream regions of the meniscus around the particle, which leads to the local acceleration/deceleration of the macroscopic contact line. We indicate that asymmetric meniscus around the particle foot produces a net pressure force driving liquid and accelerating the liquid-film front. (C) 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.