Droplet impact and rebound

When it rains, we are used to seeing droplet of water splashing and spreading out when they impact on a solid surface.

Splash pattern created by a droplet of water hitting a surface.

However, on superhydrophobic surfaces, it is possible for a droplet to rebound completely, without any splashing. The droplet can also display fascinating oscillations as it does so.

The video below (courtesy of Professor Quéré) shows droplets impacting and rebounding from a ‘bed of nails‘ (also known as a Fakir’s carpet), as we described here. At higher speeds, droplets can impale on the Fakir’s carpet and send jets down the lines of symmetry of the substrate.

Further Information

Read more about the work of Professor Quéré and colleagues at Physics World, and at Prof. Quéré’s research group site.