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Aerial wetting contact angle measurement using confocal microscopy

Chesna, Jacob W.; Wiedmaier, Bob F.; Wang, Jinlin; Samara, Ayman; Leach, Richard K.; Her, Tsing-Hua; Smith, Stuart T.

Aerial wetting contact angle measurement using confocal microscopy Thumbnail


Jacob W. Chesna

Bob F. Wiedmaier

Jinlin Wang

Ayman Samara

Richard K. Leach

Tsing-Hua Her

Stuart T. Smith


A method is presented in which the wetting contact angle of a sessile drop is acquired aerially using confocal techniques to measure the radius and the height of a droplet deposited on a planar surface. The repeatability of this method is typically less than 0.25°, and often less than 0.1°, for droplet diameters less than 1 mm. To evaluate accuracy of this method, an instrument uncertainty budget is developed, which predicts a combined uncertainty of 0.91° for a 1 mm diameter water droplet with a contact angle of 110°. For droplets having diameters less than 1 mm and contact angles between 15° and 160°, these droplets approach spherical shape and their contact angles can be computed analytically with less than 1% error. For larger droplets, gravitational deformation needs to be considered.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 16, 2016
Online Publication Date Oct 26, 2016
Deposit Date Oct 28, 2016
Publicly Available Date Oct 28, 2016
Journal Measurement Science and Technology
Print ISSN 0957-0233
Electronic ISSN 1361-6501
Publisher IOP Publishing
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 27
Issue 12
Public URL
Publisher URL


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