Open Problems in Wetting Phenomena: Pinning Retention Forces

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We review existing explanations for drop pinning and the origin of the force required to initiate the sliding of a drop on a solid surface (depinning). Theories that describe these phenomena include de Gennes', Marmur's, Furmidge's, the related Furmidge-Extrand's, and Tadmor's theory. These theories are all well cited but generally do not address each other, and usually papers that cite one of them ignore the others. Here, we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of these theories and their applicability to different experimental systems. Thus, we link different experimental systems to the theories that describe them best. We describe the force laws that can be deduced should these theories be united and the major open problems that remain. We describe a physical meaning that can be extracted from retention force measurements, specifically, the interfacial modulus that describes the tendency of a solid to conform to the liquid. This has implications for various wetting phenomena such as adhesion robustness, drug penetration into biological tissues, and solid robustness/resilience versus solid degradation over time as a result of its contact with a liquid.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)6357-6372
Number of pages16
Issue number21
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Spectroscopy
  • General Materials Science
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Electrochemistry


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