Droplet motion driven by surface freezing or melting: a mesoscopic hydrodynamic approach. Academic Article uri icon


  • A fluid droplet may exhibit self-propelled motion by modifying the wetting properties of the substrate. We propose a model for droplet propagation upon a terraced landscape of ordered layers formed as a result of surface freezing driven by the contact angle dependence on the terrace thickness. Simultaneous melting or freezing of the terrace edge results in a joint droplet-terrace motion. The model is tested numerically and compared to experimental observations on long-chain alkane systems in the vicinity of the surface melting point.

publication date

  • January 1, 2005