Commun. Comput. Phys., 1 (2006), pp. 1-52.


Molecular Hydrodynamics of the Moving Contact Line in Two-Phase Immiscible Flows

Tiezheng Qian 1*, Xiao-Ping Wang 1, Ping Sheng 2

1 Department of Mathematics, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China.
2 Department of Physics, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China.

Received 1 June 2005; Accepted (in revised version) 17 September 2005
Communicated by Weinan E

Abstract

The no-slip boundary condition, i.e., zero fluid velocity relative to the solid at the fluid-solid interface, has been very successful in describing many macroscopic flows. A problem of principle arises when the no-slip boundary condition is used to model the hydrodynamics of immiscible-fluid displacement in the vicinity of the moving contact line, where the interface separating two immiscible fluids intersects the solid wall. Decades ago it was already known that the moving contact line is incompatible with the no-slip boundary condition, since the latter would imply infinite dissipation due to a non-integrable singularity in the stress near the contact line. In this paper we first present an introductory review of the problem. We then present a detailed review of our recent results on the contact-line motion in immiscible two-phase flow, from molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to continuum hydrodynamics calculations. Through extensive MD studies and detailed analysis, we have uncovered the slip boundary condition governing the moving contact line, denoted the generalized Navier boundary condition. We have used this discovery to formulate a continuum hydrodynamic model whose predictions are in remarkable quantitative agreement with the MD simulation results down to the molecular scale. These results serve to affirm the validity of the generalized Navier boundary condition, as well as to open up the possibility of continuum hydrodynamic calculations of immiscible flows that are physically meaningful at the molecular level.


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Key words: Moving contact line; slip boundary condition; molecular dynamics; continuum hydrodynamics.


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Correspondence to: Tiezheng Qian , Department of Mathematics, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China. Email: maqian@ust.hk
 

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