In many natural phenomena and technical processes wetting of a solid surface by a liquid plays an essential role. Examples are the wetting of metal or other materials by protective coatings or the wetting and de-wetting of cooling liquids to control surface temperature.
Efficient and reliable methods to characterize equilibrium and dynamic contact angle phenomena and a good understanding of the basic physical processes are essential in many topical areas of TFI. A particular emphasis is placed on wetting phenomena in which also inertial forces play a significant role; hence also the dynamics of wetting become important. This is of special interest for many engineering applications such as coating, cooling, printing etc.
A further research topic in its own right is the study of dynamic contact angle phenomena of complex liquids. Complex liquids in this context are liquids, which are structured at different length scales and as a result show a non-Newtonian flow behavior. The dynamics of wetting of complex fluids is still poorly understood, despite its high relevance in industrial processes.
One of our objectives at TFI is to better understand the kinetics of wetting of complex liquids, to develop mathematical and computer tools to describe it, and to design surfaces with desired wetting properties for specific complex liquids.