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Issue 10, 2019
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Dynamics of a fully wetted Marangoni surfer at the fluid–fluid interface

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Abstract

Marangoni flow created by the gradient of surface tension can be used to transport small objects along fluid interfaces. We study lateral motion of a fully wetted self-propelled body (swimmer) at a fluid–fluid interface. The swimmer releases a surfactant at a constant rate inducing a surface tension gradient. The dynamics of the insoluble surfactant is incorporated by taking into account advection by the Marangoni flow, surface diffusion and homogeneous decomposition reaction. We show that the translational speed of a Marangoni swimmer is increased as compared with the self-propulsion speed of a chemically inactive surface-bound swimmer. Flow induced in-plane rotation of the swimmer with an elongated body is generally weak so that its trajectory in the steady state is a straight line. A non-motile thin rod that releases surfactant at one of its ends is capable of surfing on the self-generated surfactant cloud. Steady surfing occurs along the body length with the source of the surfactant at the back end acting as a propulsion engine.

Graphical abstract: Dynamics of a fully wetted Marangoni surfer at the fluid–fluid interface

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Publication details

The article was received on 16 Oct 2018, accepted on 07 Feb 2019 and first published on 12 Feb 2019


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8SM02102C
Citation: Soft Matter, 2019,15, 2284-2291

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    Dynamics of a fully wetted Marangoni surfer at the fluid–fluid interface

    H. Gidituri, M. V. Panchagnula and A. Pototsky, Soft Matter, 2019, 15, 2284
    DOI: 10.1039/C8SM02102C

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