A Simple Method to Measure the Contact Angle of Metal Droplets on Graphite

Bozhao Wu, Yongping Kang, Cai Lu, Langquan Shui, Wengen Ouyang, Qi Peng*, Qiankun He*, Ze Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The determination of solid–liquid interfacial tension plays an important role in science and technology. Here, we propose a simple method to directly measure the contact angle between metal droplets and a graphite substrate for the determination of metal–graphite interfacial tension. The proposed method involves the synthesis of micro- and nanosized metal droplets on graphite by arc melting. Owing to its small volume, the rapid cooling of the prepared metal droplets on the graphite substrate leads to the freezing of equilibrium contact configuration after solidification. We observe that the measured contact angle between micro- and nanosized Au (or Ag) particles and the graphite substrate is almost size independent, even though the size of the particles synthesized herein is 1–3 orders of magnitude smaller than that studied in previous works. In addition, the interfacial tensions of Au and Ag on the step edges (edge plane) of graphite are found to be larger than that on the (0001) plane (basal plane). The proposed method provides a simple approach to determine the solid–liquid interfacial tension and may be effective in the study of interface related science and technology.

Original languageEnglish
Article number31
JournalNanomanufacturing and Metrology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Contact angle
  • Graphite/graphenes
  • Interfacial tension
  • Metal droplets


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