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Due to their time-dependent surface tension, the addition of surface-active agents or surfactants to water for specific applications has made controlling the impact dynamics of these droplets a complex phenomenon. This work investigates the influence of the molecular weight, concentration, and ionic nature of the surfactants as well as the substrate surface characteristics on the impact dynamics of surfactant-laden droplets using a high-speed camera at 10000 frames per second. Sodium dodecyl sulfate, hexadecyltrimethylammonium bromide, and n-decanoyl-n-methylglucamine were used as anionic, cationic, and nonionic surfactants, respectively. We used hydrophilic glass slides, hydrophobic polytetrafluoroethylene, and superhydrophobic alkyl ketene dimer (AKD) as substrates. The results show that the efficiency of the surfactant addition in increasing the maximum spreading diameter is significantly influenced by the molecular weight and ionic nature of the solutions as well as the nonwettability of the substrate. Among all of the surfaces examined, the concentration and ionic nature of the solutions were found to be more dominant parameters in determining the energy dissipation in the retraction phase of the droplet impact on the superhydrophobic AKD surfaces. As the concentration decreases or positive charges are present in the solution, it is more likely to observe a similar retraction dynamic to pure water when the droplet hits the superhydrophobic AKD having negatively charged surface sites. Finally, in terms of the impact outcomes of the surfactant-laden droplets on the superhydrophobic AKD, it is shown that the influence of the surfactant addition is more noticeable at lower Weber numbers, where the droplet tries to rebound by overcoming the energy loss that occurred in the spreading.

Publication Date



Droplet impact, Impact dynamics, Nonwettability, Surface tension, Surfactant addition, Weber number


Other Materials Science and Engineering | Other Mechanical Engineering | Polymer Science

Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Dr. Reza Mohammadi

Is Part Of

VCU Graduate Research Posters

The Critical Role of Dynamic Surface Tension of Surfactants on The Impact Dynamics of Water Droplets