Coalescence of Sessile Polymer Droplets: A Molecular Dynamics Study

S Arbabi and PE Theodorakis, MACROMOLECULAR THEORY AND SIMULATIONS, 32 (2023).

DOI: 10.1002/mats.202300017

Droplet coalescence is ubiquitous in nature and, at the same time key to various technologies, such as inkjet printing. Herein, this study reports on the coalescence of polymer droplets with different chain lengths coalescing on substrates of different wettability. By means of molecular dynamics simulations of a coarse-grained model, it is found that the rate of bridge growth is higher in the case of droplets with smaller contact angles (more wettable substrates) and decreases with the increase of the chain length of the polymers. Different behavior is also identified in the dynamics of the approach of the two droplets during coalescence with the substrate wettability playing a more important role compared to the chain length of the polymers. While the dynamics of the droplet are greatly affected by the latter parameters, the density profile and flow patterns remain the same for the different cases. Thus, this study anticipates that it provides further insights into the coalescence of liquid polymer droplets on solid substrates with implications for relevant technologies.

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