Wettability and Coalescence of Cu Droplets Subjected to Two-Wall Confinement

XY Li and HR Ren and WK Wu and H Li and L Wang and YZ He and JJ Wang and Y Zhou, SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 5, 15190 (2015).

DOI: 10.1038/srep15190

Controlling droplet dynamics via wettability or movement at the nanoscale is a significant goal of nanotechnology. By performing molecular dynamics simulations, we study the wettability and spontaneous coalescence of Cu droplets confined in two carbon walls. We first focus on one drop in the two-wall confinement to reveal confinement effects on wettability and detaching behavior of metallic droplets. Results show that Cu droplets finally display three states: non-detachment, semi- detachment and full detachment, depending on the height of confined space. The contact angle ranges from 125 degrees to 177 degrees, and the contact area radius ranges from 12 to similar to 80 angstrom. The moving time of the detached droplet in the full detachment state shows a linear relationship with the height of confined space. Further investigations into two drops subjected to confinement show that the droplets, initially distant from each other, spontaneously coalesce into a larger droplet by detachment. The coalescing time and final position of the merged droplet are precisely controlled by tailoring surface structures of the carbon walls, the height of the confined space or a combination of these approaches. These findings could provide an effective method to control the droplet dynamics by confinement.

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