Simultaneous measurement of dynamic force and spatial thin film thickness between deformable and solid surfaces by integrated thin liquid film force apparatus†
Interactions involving deformable surfaces reveal a number of distinguishing physicochemical characteristics that do not exist in interactions between rigid solid surfaces. A unique fully custom-designed instrument, referred to as integrated thin liquid film force apparatus (ITLFFA), was developed to study the interactions between one deformable and one solid surface in liquid. Incorporating a bimorph force sensor with interferometry, this device allows for the simultaneous measurement of the time-dependent interaction force and the corresponding spatiotemporal film thickness of the intervening liquid film. The ITLFFA possesses the specific feature of conducting measurement under a wide range of hydrodynamic conditions, with a displacement velocity of deformable surfaces ranging from 2 μm s−1 to 50 mm s−1. Equipped with a high speed camera, the results of a bubble interacting with hydrophilic and partially hydrophobic surfaces in aqueous solutions indicated that ITLFFA can provide information on interaction forces and thin liquid film drainage dynamics not only in a stable film but also in films of the quick rupture process. The weak interaction force was extracted from a measured film profile. Because of its well-characterized experimental conditions, ITLFFA permits the accurate and quantitative comparison/validation between measured and calculated interaction forces and temporal film profiles.