PerspectiveBiophysics

The Intrigue of the Interface

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Science  16 May 2008:
Vol. 320, Issue 5878, pp. 886
DOI: 10.1126/science.1158189

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  1. Water contacts

    (A) Contact angle θ is measured within the liquid, and (B) can change as a drop moves, becoming asymmetric. This contact-angle hysteresis explains how raindrops stick to window panes (C). (D) Micrometer-scale roughness traps air between liquid drop and solid (the Cassie-Baxter or fakir state), producing large contact angles.

    PHOTO CREDITS: (PANEL C) JUPITER IMAGES. (PANEL D) SUPERSTOCK