Surface Coating / Alfa Chemistry

Determination of Contact Angle, Wetting Behavior and Surface Energy


The wettability or surface tension of a material's surface could be a critical aspect in its performance or a significant issue in the manufacturing process. The wetting behavior of a surface can have a significant impact on its performance and coating difficulty. Self-cleaning surfaces, anti-fog materials, and microfluidic chips are just a few examples of applications that heavily rely on wettability and surface energy. Alfa Chemistry's daily business is surface coating. We offer customers research services on wetting behavior and contact angles, both of which are critical for successful product functionalization.

Furthermore, knowing the surface tension and energy of our coating solutions is critical for applying these functional solutions to any substrate effectively. We may also analyze the wetting behavior and surface tension to continuously monitor the interaction between the substrate and the coating.

Understand Dynamic Contact Angle Technology

Surface wetting and dewetting behavior can be determined using dynamic contact angles. Alfa Chemistry can conduct a thorough analysis of surface morphology and surface tension because to its understanding of contact angle and wetting behavior. The forward and backward angles of the three-phase boundary are moved and the difference between these two angles is measured in dynamic contact angle technology. The wettability is determined by the advancing and retreating contact angles, and the ensuing hysteresis provides information about surface chemistry and topographic heterogeneity.

Determination of Contact Angle, Wetting Behavior and Surface EnergyFig 1. A drop of water on an ideal solid substrate. (Huhtamäki. T, et al. 2018)

Alfa Chemistry employs the droplet form approach, which involves placing droplets on the surface. The advancing contact angle can be calculated as the droplet volume grows. Similarly, the receding contact angle can be determined by observing the drop's shape as its volume decreases. Furthermore, the shape of a droplet can be used to determine the surface tension of a liquid.

The benefits of this analysis technique include: measuring wettability and surface energy; obtaining information about surface topography; simulating/modeling dynamic coating processes; and measuring the surface tension of liquids.

Dynamic Contact Angle of Alfa Chemistry

For contact angle measurement and liquid surface tension, Alfa Chemistry use optical and dynamic contact angle tensiometer devices. These evaluations are quantitative and can be related to chemical changes on the surface. The dynamic contact angle, powder contact angle, surface free energy, interfacial tension, and critical micelle concentration can all be measured.

Furthermore, a fuller understanding of surface chemistry can be achieved by integrating contact angle measurement with additional surface analysis techniques (such as XPS, SIMS, and AES) supplied by Alfa Chemistry laboratory services. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) can be used to examine the physical behavior of the fiber surface roughness, which impacts microwetting and local contact angle.

Dynamic Contact Angle of Alfa Chemistry

We can measure a variety of sample materials and dimensions, including but not limited to:

  • Smooth and structured surface;
  • Metals, polymers, fibers, textiles, liquids, etc;
  • 15 x 15 cm; maximum height 2 cm;

We use dynamic contact angles to determine wetting behavior and surface energy can also be used in the following applications:

  • Characterization of contact lens wettability
  • Determine the implant's biocompatibility
  • Investigate metal and polymer adhesion and surface treatment
  • Analysis of wood surface treatments, such as bonding performance
  • Electroplating process quality management
  • Research on the uniformity of surface cleaning
  • Characterization of surface tension of coating solution

Contact us to learn about new aspects of your coating product characteristics!


  • Huhtamäki. T, et al. (2018). "Surface-wetting characterization using contact-angle measurements." Nature Protocols. (13): 402-411.

Our products and services are for research use only and cannot be used for any clinical purpose.

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