Simple experiments show how droplets and particles on squishy surfaces show some surprising new behaviour. For example, Young's law for contact angles breaks down quite significantly, and droplets can be made to move spontaneously along flat surfaces. Similarly, particles adhered to soft surfaces fail to obey classical adhesion laws. I will show how such new phenomena arise systematically at small lengthscales, and why they are important for many soft materials. I will also show how we can take advantage of these phenomena to create new patterning techniques, and to gain insights into the physics of contact lines.
This is a weekly series of informal talks given primarily by members of the soft condensed matter and statistical mechanics groups, but is also open to members of other groups and external visitors. The aim of the series is to promote discussion and learning of various topics at a level suitable to the broad background of the group. Everyone is welcome to attend..