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Issue 44, 2013
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Viscous fingering at ultralow interfacial tension

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We experimentally study the viscous fingering instability in a fluid–fluid phase separated colloid–polymer mixture by means of laser scanning confocal microscopy and microfluidics. We focus on three aspects of the instability. (i) The interface between the two demixed phases has an ultralow surface tension, such that we can address the role of thermal interface fluctuations. (ii) We image the interface in three dimensions allowing us to study the interplay between interface curvature and flow. (iii) The displacing fluid wets all walls completely, in contrast to traditional viscous fingering experiments, in which the displaced fluid wets the walls. We also perform lattice Boltzmann simulations, which help to interpret the experimental observations.

Graphical abstract: Viscous fingering at ultralow interfacial tension

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Publication details

The article was received on 05 Jun 2013, accepted on 19 Aug 2013 and first published on 19 Aug 2013

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3SM51571K
Citation: Soft Matter, 2013,9, 10599-10605

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    Viscous fingering at ultralow interfacial tension

    S. A. Setu, I. Zacharoudiou, G. J. Davies, D. Bartolo, S. Moulinet, A. A. Louis, J. M. Yeomans and D. G. A. L. Aarts, Soft Matter, 2013, 9, 10599
    DOI: 10.1039/C3SM51571K

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