Spreading kinetics of water drops on self-assembled monolayers of thiols: significance of inertial effects.

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Department of Materials Science and Engineering


Spreading of 5-15 microL water drops on self-assembled monolayers of 1-hexadecanethiol and 11-mercapto-1-undecanol, both homogeneous and mixed compositions, formed on gold-coated silicon wafers or glass slides was recorded with a high-speed video camera. The time (t) evolution of the drop base diameter (D) during spreading was analyzed by a power law-correlation: D approximately t(n). The n value was found to increase from n = 0.3-0.5 for water drops on hydrophobic surfaces characterized by the advancing water contact angle of thetaA = 94-104 degrees to n = 0.5-0.8 on less hydrophobic surfaces (thetaA = 45-66 degrees ). These experimental values were found to be of similar magnitude as the literature values reported for small drops and bubbles, which spread over a variety of different substrates including water and water-ethanol drops on self-assembled monolayers of alkylsilanes, air bubbles in water on glass, molten metals on solid metals and ceramics, hydrocarbon drops on water, and others. Inertial effects, which are often not accounted for in the analysis of spreading results, appear to have an impact on the spreading kinetics of small drops in at least the first few milliseconds of the spreading phenomenon.

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Langmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids