Line energy, line tension and drop size

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


The relation between drop radius, r, the force to move the three phase contact line and the advancing and receding contact angles θA and θR is studied. To keep the line energy (energy per 2πr, also named line tension) independent of r, the modified Young equation predicts that the advancing and receding contact angles, θA and θR, change considerably with r. As shown by many investigators, θA and θR change negligibly, if at all, with r. We quantify recent evidences showing that the line energy is a function of the Laplace pressure and show that this way the modified Young equation is correct and still θA and θR should hardly change with r. According to our model, the small surface deformation associated with the unsatisfied normal component of the Young equation results in higher intermolecular interactions at the three phase contact line which corresponds to a higher retention force. This time increasing effect is supported by recent experiments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L108-L111
JournalSurface Science
Issue number14
StatePublished - 15 Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Interfaces
  • Modified Young equation
  • Retention force
  • Surfaces
  • Young equation


Dive into the research topics of 'Line energy, line tension and drop size'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this