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Issue 29, 2012
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Soluble surfactant spreading on spatially confined thin liquid films

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We studied the spreading of soluble surfactants on spatially confined thin liquid films by means of comprehensive experiments and numerical simulations. We determined the time evolution of the liquid film thickness both from interference microscopy measurements and finite element calculations. A characteristic rim develops ahead of the spreading surfactant front. Within certain time intervals, the rim position can be well represented by a power-law relation xrimtα. The corresponding spreading exponent α depends on the method of surfactant deposition and the numerical values deduced from experiments and simulations quantitatively agree. Depth-resolved simulations that account for domain deformability using the Arbitrary Lagrangian–Eulerian method show that shear-induced concentration non-uniformities across the rim film thickness tend to reduce the rim height. Fingering instabilities that are frequently observed in experiments were qualitatively reproduced in the simulations.

Graphical abstract: Soluble surfactant spreading on spatially confined thin liquid films

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Publication details

The article was received on 01 Mar 2012, accepted on 29 May 2012 and first published on 25 Jun 2012

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2SM25484K
Citation: Soft Matter, 2012,8, 7660-7671
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    Soluble surfactant spreading on spatially confined thin liquid films

    M. Hanyak, D. K. N. Sinz and A. A. Darhuber, Soft Matter, 2012, 8, 7660
    DOI: 10.1039/C2SM25484K

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