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Phys Rev Lett. 2011 Jan 21;106(3):036102. Epub 2011 Jan 20.

Rapid deceleration-driven wetting transition during pendant drop deposition on superhydrophobic surfaces.

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Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139-4307, USA.


A hitherto unknown mechanism for wetting transition is reported. When a pendant drop settles upon deposition, there is a virtual "collision" where its center of gravity undergoes rapid deceleration. This induces a high water hammer-type pressure that causes wetting transition. A new phase diagram shows that both large and small droplets can transition to wetted states due to the new deceleration driven and the previously known Laplace mechanisms, respectively. It is explained how the attainment of a nonwetted Cassie-Baxter state is more restrictive than previously known.

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