Confinement Dynamics of Nanodroplets between Two Surfaces: Effects of Wettability and Electric Field

DD Liu and QQ Cao and ZY Piao and LJ Li, CHEMPHYSCHEM, 23, e202200184 (2022).

DOI: 10.1002/cphc.202200184

The electrowetting effect and related applications of tiny droplets have aroused widespread research interest. In this work, we report molecular dynamics simulations of confinement dynamics of nanodroplets under different droplet-surface interactions and surface distances under an external electric field. So far, the effect of the surface-droplet interactions on electric field-induced dynamics behaviors of droplets in confined spaces has not been extensively studied. Our results show that in the absence of electric field there is a critical value of surface wettability for the shape transition of droplets. Above this value, the droplet is divided into small droplets adhered on the bottom and top surfaces; below this value, the droplets are detached from the surfaces. When an external electric field is applied parallel to the surfaces, the droplet spreads on the surface along the direction of the electric field. It was found that the surface separation significantly influences the transition of the droplet shape. The steady morphology of the droplets under the electric field depends on the surface-droplet interaction and surface separation. We explore the underlying mechanism causing the morphological transition through analyzing the molecular interactions, the number of interracial molecules and the interaction force between the droplets and surfaces. These results provide basic insights into the molecular interactions of nanodroplets under different confined environments, and clues for applications of confined nanodroplets under the control of electric field.

Return to Publications page