Equilibrium configurations and capillary interactions of Janus dumbbells and spherocylinders at fluid–fluid interfaces†
We numerically investigate the adsorption of a variety of Janus particles (dumbbells, elongated dumbbells and spherocylinders) at a fluid–fluid interface by using a numerical method that takes into account the interfacial deformations. We first determine the equilibrium configuration of a single adsorbed particle, and we find that the overall shape of the induced deformation field has a strong hexapolar mode while non-Janus particles of the same shape do not induce any interfacial deformation. We then calculate the capillary interactions between two Janus spherocylinders adsorbed at an interface. The hexapolar deformation field induces capillary attractions for laterally aligned Janus spherocylinders and repulsions for laterally anti-aligned ones. We also experimentally synthesize micrometer-sized charged Janus dumbbells and let them adsorb at a water–decane interface. After several hours we observe the formation of aggregates of dumbbells predominantly induced by interactions that appear to be capillary in nature. Our Janus dumbbells attach laterally and are all aligned, as predicted by our numerical calculations.