Corner singularity of a contact line moving on a solid substrate

Howard A. Stone, Laurent Limat, Stephen K. Wilson, J. M. Flesselles, Thomas Podgorski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


In conditions of partial wetting and at sufficiently high capillary number Ca, a dynamic contact line that recedes on a solid surface assumes a 'saw-tooth' shape. We show that the flow inside this liquid 'corner' is a similarity solution of the lubrication equations governing steady thin-film flows in which the free surface is cone shaped. The interface slope Ω defined in its symmetry plane is linked to the corner angle 2φ by the approximate relationship Ω 3 ≈ (3/2)Ca tan 2 φ. We also suggest a possible explanation of droplet emission from the corner which occurs when φ reaches π/6.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-110
Number of pages8
JournalComptes Rendus Physique
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


  • Contact lines
  • Dewetting
  • Film flows
  • Lubrication theory
  • Singularities
  • Wetting


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