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Some aspects of capillary forces

Prof. Dr. Hans-Jürgen Butt Max-Planck-Institut für Polymerforschung, Mainz, Germany

Humidity influences the adhesion between hydrophilic particles. This for example influences the flow of granular materials. It is well known that under ambient conditions, water condenses into the gaps between neighboring particles. Such a water meniscus causes an attractive force, called capillary force. Several aspects of capillary forces are discussed :

(1) The influence of humidity and surface roughness on the capillary force between hydrophilic particles ;

(2) Capillary forces can be used in colloid probe experiments to measure certain properties of thin liquid films.

(3) Motivated by the bioadhesion of tree frogs capillary forces between very soft surface are analysed.