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Journal Article

Capillarity at the nanoscale: An AFM view


Becker,  T.
Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, MPI for biophysical chemistry, Max Planck Society;


Herminghaus,  Stephan
Group Granular matter and irreversibility, Department of Dynamics of Complex Fluids, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society;

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Mugele, F., Becker, T., Nikopoulos, R., Kohonen, M., & Herminghaus, S. (2002). Capillarity at the nanoscale: An AFM view. Journal of Adhesion Science and Technology, 16(7), 951-964. doi:10.1163/156856102760136490.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0029-A9D7-9
We have used atomic force microscopy (AFM) to image liquid droplets on solid substrates. The technique is applied to determine the contact line tension. Compared to conventional optical contact angle measurements, the AFM extends the range of accessible drop sizes by three orders of magnitude. We analyze the global shape of the droplets and the local profiles in the vicinity of the contact line. These two approaches show that the optical measurement overestimates the line tension by approximately four orders of magnitude.