Wetting of flat gradient surfaces

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Gradient, chemically modified, flat surfaces enable directed transport of droplets. Calculation of apparent contact angles inherent for gradient surfaces is challenging even for atomically flat ones. Wetting of gradient, flat solid surfaces is treated within the variational approach, under which the contact line is free to move along the substrate. Transversality conditions of the variational problem give rise to the generalized Young equation valid for gradient solid surfaces. The apparent (equilibrium) contact angle of a droplet, placed on a gradient surface depends on the radius of the contact line and the values of derivatives of interfacial tensions. The linear approximation of the problem is considered. It is demonstrated that the contact angle hysteresis is inevitable on gradient surfaces. Electrowetting of gradient surfaces is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)264-267
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2018


  • Contact angle hysteresis
  • Gradient surfaces
  • Transversality conditions
  • Wetting


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