Advancing and Receding Contact Line Dynamics of Micrometer Droplets

Interactions between liquid droplets and surfaces are ubiquitous and are relevant to many industrial and everyday applications. While the many colorful and exciting wetting and phase-change mechanisms of droplets at the millimeter scale have been widely researched, the use and study of micrometer sized droplets have been scarcely considered and addressed.

This project focuses on the intimate interactions between micrometer sized droplets and micro-/nano-structured surfaces. The advancing and receding mechanisms of the triple phase contact line during impinging, wetting, droplet growth (via condensation or liquid addition) and droplet evaporation on surfaces varying in the geometry, size and wettability of the structures will be the focus of this research. Different optical and goniometry techniques such as optical microscopy and/or macroscopic imaging will be utilized to characterize such mechanisms at different scales from the macro- to the micro-scale. Other advanced functional surfaces such as bioinspired, superhydrophobic, slippery lubricant infused porous and/or surfaces comprising either chemical or structural wetting gradients may also be considered.   

The advancing and receding mechanisms of the contact line aims to provide vital fundamentals for the better design of micro-fluidic devices and heat transfer surfaces, amongst others. Hence the student will have the opportunity to further develop and propose new directions on the fabrication of advanced surfaces with enhanced performance.  

The work will be mainly conducted in a very international research environment at the Institute of Multiscale Thermofluids at the School of Engineering of the University of Edinburgh. The student may have the opportunity to contribute to other research projects and international consortiums such as the Royal Society, the European Space Agency ESA, and ThermaSMART ( The student will have the great opportunity to carry out placement/secondments at Kyushu University in Japan, York University in Canada, an/or others; and to collaborate with other international renowned institutions from China, USA, Japan, Canada, etc.

Further Information: 

Supervisor’s Edinburgh Research:  
Supervisor’s website:
Recent Relevant Publication By Supervisor:
Raza, G., Orejon, D., Choi, C.-H., Zhang, P.*, Phase-change Slippery Liquid-infused Porous Surfaces with Thermo-responsive Wetting and Shedding States, ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces 12 (30), 34306-34316, 2020.
Zhao, H., Orejon, D., Mackenzie-Dover, C., Valluri, P., Shanahan, M.E.R., Sefiane, K.*, Droplet Motion on Contrasting Striated Surfaces, Applied Physics Letters 116 (25), 251604, 2020.
Maeda, Y., Lv, F.Y., Zhang, P., Takata, Y., Orejon, D.*, Condensate Droplet Size Distribution and Heat Transfer on Hierarchical Slippery Lubricant Infused Porous Surfaces, Applied Thermal Engineering, 176, 115386, 2020 (Special Issue for the 5th International Workshop on Heat-Mass Transfer Advances for Energy Conservation and Pollution Control (SI IWHT2019).
Orejon, D.*, A. Askounis, Takata, Y., Attinger, D. Dropwise Condensation on Multi-scale Bioinspired Metallic Surfaces with Nano-Features, ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces 11 (27), 24735-24750, 2019.
Yan, X.*, Huang, Z., Sett, S., Oh, J., Cha, H., Li, L., Feng, L., Wu, Y., Zhao, C., Orejon, D.*, Chen, F.*, Miljkovic, N.*, Atmospheric-Mediated Superhydrophobicity of Rationally Designed Micro/Nanostructured Surfaces, ACS Nano 13 (4), 4160-4173, 2019.
Wang, Z., Orejon, D.*, Sefiane, K., Takata, Y., Water vapor uptake into hygroscopic lithium bromide desiccant droplets: Mechanisms of droplet growth and spreading. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 21, 1046-1058, 2019. BACK COVER
Kita, Y., Okauchi, Y., Fukatani, Y., Orejon, D.*, Kohno, M., Takata, Y., Sefiane, K. Quantifying vapor transfer into evaporating ethanol drops in humid atmosphere. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 20, 1943-1944, 2018.


The University of Edinburgh is committed to equality of opportunity for all its staff and students, and promotes a culture of inclusivity. Please see details here:

Closing Date: 

Friday, April 30, 2021
Advancing and Receding Contact Line Dynamics of Micrometer Droplets

Principal Supervisor: 


Minimum entry qualification - an Honours degree at 2:1 or above (or International equivalent) in a relevant science or engineering discipline, possibly supported by an MSc Degree.

 The following skills, qualities and/or interests are desired:
-    Interest on the interactions between liquid droplets and solid surfaces
-    Good understanding on physics of phase change: evaporation & condensation
-    Good background in fluid dynamics and fluid mechanics
-    Good with hands-on tasks and experimental skills
Willing to take part in an international consortium ThermaSMART and enjoy the opportunity to carry out a secondment of several months at Kyushu University in Japan or York University in Canada, amongst others.

Further information on English language requirements for EU/Overseas applicants.


  • Applicants with Home Fee status:  A stipend and Home tuition fees are available for the successful candidate.  Please see here for a definition of Home applicants.
  • Applicants with EU Fee status: If an EU applicant is successful and starts BEFORE 1st August 2021, they will be eligible for Home tuition fees and stipend (see above).  If an EU applicant is successful and starts AFTER 1st August 2021, they will be eligible for the stipend but an Overseas fee status will apply (see below).
  • Applicants with Overseas Fee status: Overseas applicants are welcome to apply and will be eligible for the stipend and Home tuition fees, but the top up in fees from Home rate to Overseas rate must be secured by the candidate (either through self-funded means or through external scholarship).

Further information and other funding options.

Informal Enquiries: