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Issue 17, 2013
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Capillary forces between rigid spheres and elastic supports: the role of Young's modulus and equilibrium vapor adsorption

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Abstract

Capillary adhesion of microparticles was analytically calculated, modelled by finite element method (FEM) simulations and measured. The effects of elastic deformation and liquid adsorption were analyzed. By means of an atomic force microscope, we measured the force between a silica bead of 2 μm radius and a planar polydimethylsiloxane surface (Young's modulus E = 1 MPa) in the presence of ethanol at different vapor pressures. Results were compared to adhesion forces measured on a silicon wafer. Independent of the sample elastic modulus experiments showed a monotonous decrease of capillary forces with increasing ethanol partial vapor pressure for P/Psat > 0.2, where Psat is the saturation vapor pressure. However, adhesion forces on the soft surface were much stronger than on the rigid silicon wafer. In order to explain the experimental results, a previous developed theory (Soft Matter, 2010, 6, 3930) was extended to take into account vapor adsorption of ethanol. Analytical calculations were compared to results of FEM simulations where the detailed deformation of the elastic support close to the meniscus was explicitly taken into account.

Graphical abstract: Capillary forces between rigid spheres and elastic supports: the role of Young's modulus and equilibrium vapor adsorption

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Publication details

The article was received on 27 Dec 2012, accepted on 01 Mar 2013 and first published on 21 Mar 2013


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3SM27952A
Citation: Soft Matter, 2013,9, 4534-4543
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    Capillary forces between rigid spheres and elastic supports: the role of Young's modulus and equilibrium vapor adsorption

    M. Zakerin, M. Kappl, E. H. G. Backus, H. Butt and F. Schönfeld, Soft Matter, 2013, 9, 4534
    DOI: 10.1039/C3SM27952A

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