Faulty Intuitions of Wetting

Lasse Makkonen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


    Theories of wetting have a long history and they are intensively used in interpreting experimental data. Nevertheless, many basic aspects, such as the pinning of a contact line and contact angle hysteresis, are still poorly understood. The development of a rigorous consensus theory has suffered from concepts that are based on faulty intuitions. These include the force interpretation of Young’s equation, the use of the principle of minimizing the global free energy, and the concepts of the work of adhesion and the mechanical surface tension on a solid. In this paper, the appropriate treatment of the basic ingredients of surface thermodynamics is discussed and the route towards the physically justified theoretical approach on wetting is outlined.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)13-30
    JournalInternational Journal of Wettability Science and Technology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2018
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • wetting
    • hydrophobicity
    • contact angle
    • contact angle hysteresis
    • surface energy
    • surface tension
    • surface thermodynamics


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