Nanoscopic interactions of colloidal particles can suppress millimetre drop splashing

Marie Jean Thoraval (Corresponding author), Jonas Schubert, Stefan Karpitschka, Munish Chanana, François Boyer, Enrique Sandoval-Naval, J. Frits Dijksman, Jacco H. Snoeijer, Detlef Lohse

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    18 Citations (Scopus)
    24 Downloads (Pure)


    The splashing of liquid drops onto a solid surface is important for a wide range of applications, including combustion and spray coating. As the drop hits the solid surface, the liquid is ejected into a thin horizontal sheet expanding radially over the substrate. Above a critical impact velocity, the liquid sheet is forced to separate from the solid surface by the ambient air, and breaks up into smaller droplets. Despite many applications involving complex fluids, their effects on splashing remain mostly unexplored. Here we show that the splashing of a nanoparticle dispersion can be suppressed at higher impact velocities by the interactions of the nanoparticles with the solid surface. Although the dispersion drop first shows the classical transition from deposition to splashing when increasing the impact velocity, no splashing is observed above a second higher critical impact velocity. This result goes against the commonly accepted understanding of splashing, that a higher impact velocity should lead to even more pronounced splashing. Our findings open new possibilities to deposit large amount of complex liquids at high speeds.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)5116-5121
    Number of pages6
    JournalSoft Matter
    Issue number20
    Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2021

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    This work was funded by the Dutch Polymer Institute under the ‘‘Inkjet-Printing of Suspensions’’ project, and from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant # 11542016, 11702210 and 11850410439) and the Project B18040. M.-J. T. is also supported by the Cyrus Tang Foundation through the Tang Scholar program.


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