Bounds on Contact Angle Hysteresis of Textured Super-hydrophobic Surfaces
Why does not gravity make drops slip down the inclined surfaces, e.g., plant leaves? The current explanation is based on the existence of surface inhomogeneities, which cause a sustaining force that pins the contact line. Following this theory, the drop remains in equilibrium until a critical value of the sustaining force is reached. We propose an alternative analysis, from the point of view of energy balance, for the particular case in which the drop leaves a liquid film behind. The critical angle of the inclined surface at which the drop slips down is predicted. This result does not depend explicitly on surface inhomogeneities, but only on the drop size and surface tensions. There is good agreement with experiments for contact angles below 90 degrees where the formation of the film is expected, whereas for greater contact angles great discrepancies arise.