Antibubble as an interfacial shear rheometer

As described in a recent post, antibubbles are surprising fluid objects [1,2]. An antibubble is a spherical air film that is immersed in a surfactant mixture.  Since no stabilization process exists for the air film, the antibubble must die. Its lifetime is fixed by the drainage time of the air from the South pole to the North pole of the antibubble under the action of the hydrostatic pressure. When the air film thickness  at the bottom of the antibubble reaches a critical point, it (anti-)explodes. The front picture is an antibubble seen with a monochromatic light. Fringes emphasize thickness gradients along the air film.

In a letter [3], a dynamical model of the air drainage is proposed  that accounts for the particular geometry of the air flow and for the physical properties of the wall. Indeed, we show that according to the used surfactant, the lifetime is modified as predicted by the model. It is demonstrated that the antibubble constitutes a smart tool in order to get fine surface properties of a surfactant mixture as for example the surface shear viscosity.

[1] S.Dorbolo, H.Caps and N.Vandewalle, New J. Phys. 5, 66.1-66.9 (2003) – PDF
[2] S.Dorbolo, E.Reyssat, N.Vandewalle and D.Quéré, Europhys. Lett. 69, 966-970 (2005) – PDF
[3] B.Scheid, S.Dorbolo, L.R.Arriaga, and E.Rio, Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 264502 (2012) – PDF



About nicovdw

Professor in Physics
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