Flattened and Wrinkled Encapsulated Droplets : Shape Morphing Induced by Gravity and Evaporation

Davide Riccobelli, Hedar H. Al-Terke, Päivi Laaksonen, Pierangelo Metrangolo, Arja Paananen, Robin H.A. Ras, Pasquale Ciarletta, Dominic Vella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


We report surprising morphological changes of suspension droplets (containing class II hydrophobin protein HFBI from Trichoderma reesei in water) as they evaporate with a contact line pinned on a rigid solid substrate. Both pendant and sessile droplets display the formation of an encapsulating elastic film as the bulk concentration of solute reaches a critical value during evaporation, but the morphology of the droplet varies significantly: for sessile droplets, the elastic film ultimately crumples in a nearly flattened area close to the apex while in pendant droplets, circumferential wrinkling occurs close to the contact line. These different morphologies are understood through a gravito-elastocapillary model that predicts the droplet morphology and the onset of shape changes, as well as showing that the influence of the direction of gravity remains crucial even for very small droplets (where the effect of gravity can normally be neglected). The results pave the way to control droplet shape in several engineering and biomedical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number218202
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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