Evaluation of macroscale wetting equations on a microrough surface.Langmuir. 2015 Mar 03; 31(8):2342-50.L
The wettability of critical droplets on microscale geometric rough surfaces has been investigated using a density functional theory approach. In order to analyze the effect of roughness on nucleation free-energy barriers, the local density fluctuations at liquid-solid interfaces induced by the multi-interactions of a corner substrate are presented to interpret the interfacial free-energy variations, and the vapor-liquid-solid contact line tensions are derived from the contact angles of nuclei to account for the three-phase contact energies. The corresponding wetting diagrams have been constructed in Cassie, Wenzel, and impregnation regions. It is shown that, under the same condition, modest deviations between the microscale and the macroscale models can be observed within the Cassie region, whereas these deviations have been enlarged in the Wenzel and impregnation regions as well as the Cassie-Wenzel transition region. These deviations are also correlated to the roughness of the surface. The reason can be attributed to the cooperative effect of the liquid-solid interfacial free energy and line tension. This study offers a fundamental understanding of wettability of ultrasmall droplets on a microscale geometric rough surface.