The European Physical Journal E

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 433–440 | Cite as

Pinning-depinning of the contact line on nanorough surfaces

  • S. Ramos
  • A. Tanguy
Regular Article


We study the pinning-depinning phenomenon of a contact line on a solid surface decorated by a random array of nanometric structures. For this purpose, we have investigated the contact angle hysteresis behaviour of six different wetting and non-wetting fluids with surface tensions varying from 25 to 72mN m^-1. For low values of the areal density of defects φd, the hysteresis H increases linearly with φd indicating that “individual” defects pin the contact line. Then, from a given value of φd, the hysteresis H becomes to decrease with increasing φd, indicating a new kind of collective depinning. These two regimes were observed for all fluids used. In both cases, our experimental results are compared with the theoretical predictions for contact angle hysteresis induced by single or multiple topographical defects. We ascribe the decrease of H to the formation of cavities along the wetting front.


68.08.Bc Wetting 61.30.Hn Surface phenomena: alignment, anchoring, anchoring transitions, surface-induced layering, surface-induced ordering, wetting, prewetting transitions, and wetting transitions 61.46.-w Nanoscale materials 


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Copyright information

© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica and Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Ramos
    • 1
  • A. Tanguy
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Physique de la Matière Condensée et Nanostructures (UMR 5586)Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 et CNRS - Domaine Scientifique de la DouaVilleurbanne CedexFrance

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