Soft wetting and the Shuttleworth effect, at the crossroads between thermodynamics and mechanics

B. Andreotti, J.H. Snoeijer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)
130 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Extremely compliant elastic materials, such as thin membranes or soft gels, can be deformed when wetted by a liquid drop. It is commonly assumed that the solid capillarity in "soft wetting" can be treated in the same manner as liquid surface tension. However, the physical chemistry of a solid interface is itself affected by any distortion with respect to the elastic reference state. This gives rise to phenomena that have no counterpart in liquids: the mechanical surface stress is different from the excess free energy in surface. Here we point out some striking consequences of this "Shuttleworth effect" in the context of wetting on deformable substrates, such as the appearance of elastic singularities and unconventional capillary forces. We provide a synthesis between different viewpoints on soft wetting (microscopic and macroscopic, mechanics and thermodynamics), and point out key open issues in the field.

Original languageEnglish
Article number66001
Pages (from-to)1-8
JournalEPL
Volume113
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016

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