Authors Straub, B. ; Schmidt, H. ; Rostami, P. ; Henrich, F. ; Rossi, M. ; Kähler, C.J. ; Butt, H.-J. ; Auernhammer, G.
Title Flow profiles near receding three-phase contact lines: influence of surfactants
Date 25.10.2021
Number 58912
Abstract The dynamics of wetting and dewetting is largely determined by the velocity field near the contact lines. For water drops it has been observed that adding surfactant decreases the dynamic receding contact angle even at a concentration much lower than the critical micelle concentration (CMC). To better understand why surfactants have such a drastic effect on drop dynamics, we constructed a dedicated setup on an inverted microscope, in which an aqueous drop is held stationary while the transparent substrate is moved horizontally. Using astigmatism particle tracking velocimetry, we track the 3D displacement of the tracer particles in the flow. We study how surfactants alter the flow dynamics near the receding contact line of a moving drop for capillary numbers in the order of 10-6. Even for surfactant concentrations c far below the critical micelle concentration (c « CMC) Marangoni stresses change the flow drastically. We discuss our results first in a 2D model that considers advective and diffusive surfactant transport and deduce estimates of the magnitude and scaling of the Marangoni stress from this. Modeling and experiment agree that a tiny gradient in surface tension of a few µN m-1 is enough to alter the flow profile significantly. The variation of the Marangoni stress with the distance from the contact line suggests that the 2D advection–diffusion model has to be extended to a full 3D model. The effect is ubiquitous, since surfactant is present in many technical and natural dewetting processes either deliberately or as contamination.
Publisher Soft Matter
Citation Soft Matter 17 (2021) 10090-10100

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