Electric-field-induced deformation, yielding, and crumpling of jammed particle shells formed on non-spherical Pickering droplets†
Droplets covered with densely packed solid particles, often called Pickering droplets, are used in a variety of fundamental studies and practical applications. For many applications, it is essential to understand the mechanics of such particle-laden droplets subjected to external stresses. Several research groups have studied theoretically and experimentally the deformation, relaxation, rotation, and stability of Pickering droplets. Most of the research concerns spherical Pickering droplets. However, little is known about non-spherical Pickering droplets with arrested particle shells subjected to compressive stress. The experimental results presented here contribute to filling this gap in research. We deform arrested non-spherical Pickering droplets by subjecting them to electric fields, and study the effect of droplet geometry and size, as well as particle size and electric field strength, on the deformation and yielding of arrested non-spherical Pickering droplets. We explain why a more aspherical droplet and/or a droplet covered with a shell made of larger particles required higher electric stress to deform and yield. We also show that an armored droplet can absorb the electric stress differently (i.e., through either in-plane or out-of-plane particle rearrangements) depending on the strength of the applied electric field. Furthermore, we demonstrate that particle shells may fail through various crumpling instabilities, including ridge formation, folding, and wrinkling, as well as inward indentation.