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High-Throughput Contact Angle Measurement

For testing photovoltaic materials, DuraMAT's high-throughput contact angle measurement instrument combines a programmable stage, a print head with a fine needle, and precise pressure control with a high-resolution camera.

A user-defined program is written to print droplets across a substrate with the camera capturing images of each droplet as it is printed. It then performs image processing to determine the contact angle of the water droplet on the surface. Droplets can be printed as close as 7.5 mm apart on the surface in any pattern desired.

Our planned system upgrades will allow the droplet to be dragged across the surface to determine the surface energy of the substrate coating.

Core Objective

Fielded Module Forensics


Sandia National Laboratories (SNL)


This capability may be used to determine how evenly a coating is weathering over a surface. It can also be used to quickly and accurately test the hydrophilicity/hydrophobicity of a matrix of different coating formulations.


This capability is available to SNL scientists and their partners.


For a description of a simple goniometer set up and contact angle measurement, see:
Bracco, G.; Holst, B.  (eds.) (2013). Surface Science Techniques.  Springer Series in Surface Sciences 51, © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


To learn more about this capability, contact Margaret Gordon.

Illustration shows a computer monitor connected to a camera, while it drives a pump that releases droplets on a substrate that’s called the “X-Y programmable stage.