Splash control of drop impacts with geometric targets

Gabriel Juarez, Thomai Gastopoulos, Yibin Zhang, Michael L. Siegel, Paulo E. Arratia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Drop impacts on solid and liquid surfaces exhibit complex dynamics due to the competition of inertial, viscous, and capillary forces. After impact, a liquid lamella develops and expands radially, and under certain conditions, the outer rim breaks up into an irregular arrangement of filaments and secondary droplets. We show experimentally that the lamella expansion and subsequent breakup of the outer rim can be controlled by length scales that are of comparable dimension to the impacting drop diameter. Under identical impact parameters (i.e., fluid properties and impact velocity) we observe unique splashing dynamics by varying the target cross-sectional geometry. These behaviors include (i) geometrically shaped lamellae and (ii) a transition in splashing stability, from regular to irregular splashing. We propose that regular splashes are controlled by the azimuthal perturbations imposed by the target cross-sectional geometry and that irregular splashes are governed by the fastest-growing unstable Plateau-Rayleigh mode.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number026319
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 28 2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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