Thermally assisted mobility of nanodroplets on surfaces with weak defects

Yu Hao Tsao, Ting Ya Wang, Heng Kwong Tsao, Yu Jane Sheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hypothesis: Thermal activation plays an essential role in contact line dynamics on nanorough surfaces. However, the relation between the aforementioned concept and the sliding motion of nanodroplets remains unclear. As a result, thermally assisted motion of nanodroplets on nanorough surfaces is investigated in this work. Experiments: Steady slide and random motion of nanodroplets on surfaces with weak defects are investigated by Many-body Dissipative Particle Dynamics. The surface roughness is characterized by the slip length acquired from the velocity profile associated with the flowing film. Findings: The slip length is found to decline with increasing the defect density. The linear relationship between the sliding velocity and driving force gives the mobility and reveals the absence of contact line pinning. On the basis of the Navier condition, a simple relation is derived and states that the mobility is proportional to the slip length and the reciprocal of the product of viscosity and contact area. Our simulation results agree excellently with the theoretical prediction. In the absence of external forces, a two-dimensional Brownian motion of nanodroplets is observed and its mean square displacement decreases with increasing the defect density. The diffusivity is proportional to the mobility, consistent with the Einstein relation. This consequence suggests that thermal fluctuations are able to overcome contact line pinning caused by weak defects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-156
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
StatePublished - 15 Dec 2021


  • Contact line pinning
  • Einstein relation
  • Mobility of nanodroplet
  • Nanorough surfaces
  • Slip length
  • Thermal fluctuations


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