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Langmuir. 2016 May 31;32(21):5333-40. doi: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.6b00721. Epub 2016 May 20.

Hysteresis of the Contact Angle of a Meniscus Inside a Capillary with Smooth, Homogeneous Solid Walls.

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Institute of Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences , Leninsky pr, 31/4, Moscow 119071, Russia.
Department of Chemical Engineering, Loughborough University , Loughborough, Leicestershire LE11 3TU, United Kingdom.


A theory of contact angle hysteresis of a meniscus inside thin capillaries with smooth, homogeneous solid walls is developed in terms of surface forces (disjoining/conjoining pressure isotherm) using a quasi-equilibrium approach. The disjoining/conjoining pressure isotherm includes electrostatic, intermolecular, and structural components. The values of the static receding θr, advancing θa, and equilibrium θe contact angles in thin capillaries were calculated on the basis of the shape of the disjoining/conjoining pressure isotherm. It was shown that both advancing and receding contact angles depend on the capillary radius. The suggested mechanism of the contact angle hysteresis has a direct experimental confirmation: the process of receding is accompanied by the formation of thick β-films on the capillary walls. The effect of the transition from partial to complete wetting in thin capillaries is predicted and analyzed. This effect takes place in very thin capillaries, when the receding contact angle decreases to zero.

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