Influence of Surface Roughness on Droplet Evaporation and Absorption: Insights into Experiments from Lubrication-Theory-Based Models

Satish Kumar, Vasileios Charitatos

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


While solid substrates are often idealized as being perfectly smooth, all real surfaces possess some level of topographical and chemical heterogeneity. This heterogeneity can greatly influence droplet dynamics. Mathematical models based on lubrication theory that account for surface roughness reveal how topographical defects induce contact-line pinning and affect the deposition patterns of colloidal particles suspended in the droplet. Contact-line pinning profoundly changes the behavior of droplet evaporation on horizontal and inclined impermeable substrates and droplet absorption on horizontal permeable substrates. Models accounting for surface roughness yield predictions that are qualitatively consistent with experimental observations and also provide insight into the underlying physical mechanisms. These models are a foundation for the exploration of a rich array of problems concerning droplet dynamics which are of both fundamental and practical interest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15889-15904
Number of pages16
Issue number51
StatePublished - Dec 27 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful to the National Science Foundation, the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund, the Department of Energy, and Cummins Filtration for supporting research from the Kumar group discussed here. We also thank the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute (MSI) at the University of Minnesota for providing computational resources. V.C. is grateful for support from the Onassis Foundation. S.K. is fortunate to have worked with talented students and postdoctoral researchers whose efforts have advanced our understanding of droplet dynamics: Vasileios Charitatos, Andrew Corbett, Leonardo Espín, Kara Maki, Joonsik Park, and Truong Pham. We thank Christopher Larsson, Ninad Mhatre, and Saurabh Shenvi Usgaonkar for helpful discussions.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Chemical Society.


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