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Issue 44, 2017
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Deformation of the contact line around spherical particles bound at anisotropic fluid interfaces

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Abstract

When a particle adsorbs at a liquid interface, the 3-phase contact line geometry depends on the shape of the particle and of the liquid interface. The shape of the contact line is the key to controlling capillary forces among particles, and is therefore a useful means to direct assembly of interfacial particles. We measured the shape of the contact line around millimeter-sized PDMS-coated glass spheres at water/air interfaces with anisotropic shapes. We studied the advancing and receding conditions separately. We focused on interfaces with a cylindrical shape, where the predominant deformation of the meniscus and the contact line both have quadrupolar cos(2ϕ) symmetry. We related the measured magnitude of the quadrupolar deformation to the applied vertical force on the sphere and the interface's deviatoric curvature, D0. For modest curvature (D0 < 0.1 × sphere radius), our results agree with the theoretical prediction for free particles. At higher curvature, the measurements exceed the theory. The theory appears to apply even when there is contact-angle hysteresis, as long as the measured contact angle is used rather than the equilibrium (Young-Dupré) angle. The magnitude of the quadrupolar deformation depends on the applied force. Together, these results show the range of validity of the theory.

Graphical abstract: Deformation of the contact line around spherical particles bound at anisotropic fluid interfaces

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Publication details

The article was received on 03 Aug 2017, accepted on 04 Oct 2017 and first published on 05 Oct 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7SM01548H
Citation: Soft Matter, 2017,13, 8234-8239
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    Deformation of the contact line around spherical particles bound at anisotropic fluid interfaces

    N. Şenbil and A. D. Dinsmore, Soft Matter, 2017, 13, 8234
    DOI: 10.1039/C7SM01548H

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