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Extracting the surface tension of soft gels from elastocapillary wave behavior

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Abstract

Mechanically-excited waves appear as surface patterns on soft agarose gels. We experimentally quantify the dispersion relationship for these waves over a range of shear modulus in the transition zone where the surface energy (capillarity) is comparable to the elastic energy of the solid. Rayleigh waves and capillary-gravity waves are recovered as limiting cases. Gravitational forces appear as a pre-stress through the self-weight of the gel and are important. We show the experimental data fits well to a proposed dispersion relationship which differs from that typically used in studies of capillary to elastic wave crossover. We use this combined theoretical and experimental analysis to develop a new technique for measuring the surface tension of soft materials, which has been historically difficult to measure directly.

Graphical abstract: Extracting the surface tension of soft gels from elastocapillary wave behavior

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Publication details

The article was received on 18 May 2018, accepted on 06 Jul 2018 and first published on 11 Jul 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8SM01027G
Citation: Soft Matter, 2018, Advance Article
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    Extracting the surface tension of soft gels from elastocapillary wave behavior

    X. Shao, J. R. Saylor and J. B. Bostwick, Soft Matter, 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C8SM01027G

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