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Faceted drops on heterogeneous surfaces
We report an experimental study of the shape of large liquid drops spreading on surfaces with patterns of wettability. A heterogeneous surface exhibits multiple energy minima of free energy for the three-phase system. In particular, when the distribution of defects on the substrate is periodic (square or hexagonal), it is possible to initiate a transition between circular and faceted drops. We describe the surface growth of these liquid drops as a geometric avalanche process released by surface tension. c EDP Sciencesdoi:10.1209/epl/i2001-00405-1 fatcat:yqxdyyggvvas7e6ks2ypo5lf2q