I am interested in investigating droplets mechanics. I have read some documents and journal papers related to some aspects of (water) droplets e.g. surface tension, collision with flat surfaces or particles, etc. However, I feel that I should study some more basic materials as well to make sure that I am aware of all the principals exist in droplets statics and dynamics in order to be able to use these concepts in solving more complicated problems. It'd be kind of you if introduce some useful resources in this area, in any aspect of droplets including but not limited to:

  • Basic concepts and definitions of different parameters defined for droplet motion or droplet equilibrium state; e.g. different types of contact angles (advancing, receding, etc) wettability, surface energy, etc

  • Various sources of force (and energies) that may apply to a droplet in both a static or a dynamic situation and how to model (formulate) each one

  • And in more details, I'm interested in: collision phenomena, formation of thin liquid films and lamella formation.



For fundamentals I prefer books over papers, because they are typically more thorough and a little bit more 'slow' in the introduction of concepts. There are many books that will cover, some of, the topics that you mention. I will mention below the 3 books that where most useful to me in the past.

1) An excellent resource for a theoretical foundation in capillarity and wetting is the book by de Gennes et al.:

P.G. de Gennes, F. Brochard-Wyart and D. Quéré, Capillarity And Wetting Phenomena - Drops, Bubbles, Pearls, Waves, 2003, Springer

Concepts like surface tension and energy, contact angles, contact angle hysteresis, spreading behavior of droplets and many more are dealt with in a way that is quite easy to grasp conceptually. If you actually want to understand the derivations you will find that the book tends to skip some steps in the process, which makes it a bit harder to follow, but it provides references that you can use to follow up on that.

2) For a more thorough background on the origin of surface tension you might be interested in the book by Israelachvili:

J.N. Israelachvili, Intermolecular and surface forces, 2011, Academic Press (Elsevier)

3) A third book that mostly focuses on the dynamics of capillary interfaces from a fairly mathematical perspective is the book by Shikhmurzaev

Y.D. Shikhmurzaev, Capillary flows with forming interfaces, 2008, CRC Press

Review papers

For the latest information, books are typically not the best, because they might already be outdated by a couple of years when they are released. This is where review papers come in. They will still be more extensive then research papers, but are usually quite up to date, at least within a year or so. Additionally, more specific topics like the collision phenomena you are interested in might not be addressed (substantially) in books on capillarity. Below I have selected just a few review papers that you might find interesting to read, but I would advice you to also search for yourself in journals like Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics and Reports on Progress in Physics

1) Yarin et al.,Drop Impact Dynamics, 2006, Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics

2) Grabowski et al., Growth of Cloud Droplets in a Turbulent Environment, 2013, Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics

  • $\begingroup$ Dear Michiel, Thanks for your answer. Would you please let me know that when I want to search for a specific subject, how I can limit my search results to review papers (I couldn't find any filter for that)? It would be very kind of you if let me know more review papers in droplet or droplet collision (paper No.1 above was perfect, many thanks) $\endgroup$
    – vorujak
    Nov 6 '14 at 3:11
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Hossein If you use a search engine like web of science or scopus you can first do the search and then use refine on article type, where you can select review as the preferred type $\endgroup$
    – Michiel
    Nov 6 '14 at 7:30
  • $\begingroup$ Dear Michiel, Thanks to you I downloaded more review papers. Also, I had a look on the books you proposed and found all of them wonderful. It would be very kind of you if in the future let me know in case you find any new resource in this area (book or paper). Thanks again $\endgroup$
    – vorujak
    Nov 6 '14 at 15:50

As some other materials in addition of those definitely helpful references proposed by Michiel, I found the following very useful resources:

a full review of many concepts in droplet dynamics has been presented in this book:

  • Ashgriz, N. Handbook of Atomization and Sprays. Vol. 11. Springer New York, 2010.

for droplet collision:

  • Rein, Martin. "Phenomena of liquid drop impact on solid and liquid surfaces." Fluid Dynamics Research 12.2 (1993): 61.

  • Marengo, Marco, et al. "Drop collisions with simple and complex surfaces." Current opinion in colloid & interface science 16.4 (2011): 292-302.

  • Šikalo, Š., et al. "Analysis of impact of droplets on horizontal surfaces." Experimental thermal and fluid science 25.7 (2002): 503-510.

and for lamella formation:

  • Villermaux, Emmanuel, and Benjamin Bossa. "Drop fragmentation on impact." Journal of Fluid Mechanics 668 (2011): 412-435.

  • Juarez, Gabriel, et al. "Splash control of drop impacts with geometric targets." Physical Review E 85.2 (2012): 026319.


I also recommend researching the dynamics of inkjet printheads. Lots of work has been done on droplet dynamics by the firms that design and build inkjet printheads, and some of it has been published.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.