22 research outputs found

    Capillarity of soft amorphous solids: a microscopic model for surface stress

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    The elastic deformation of a soft solid induced by capillary forces crucially relies on the excess stress inside the solid-liquid interface. While for a liquid-liquid interface this "surface stress" is strictly identical to the "surface free energy", the thermodynamic Shuttleworth equation implies that this is no longer the case when one of the phases is elastic. Here we develop a microscopic model that incorporates enthalpic interactions and entropic elasticity, based on which we explicitly compute the surface stress and surface free energy. It is found that the compressibility of the interfacial region, through the Poisson ratio near the interface, determines the difference between surface stress and surface energy. We highlight the consequence of this finding by comparing with recent experiments and simulations on partially wetted soft substrates

    Emergent hyperuniformity in periodically-driven emulsions

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    We report the emergence of large-scale hyperuniformity in microfluidic emulsions. Upon periodic driving confined emulsions undergo a first-order transition from a reversible to an irreversible dynamics. We evidence that this dynamical transition is accompanied by structural changes at all scales yielding macroscopic yet finite hyperuniform structures. Numerical simulations are performed to single out the very ingredients responsible for the suppression of density fluctuations. We show that as opposed to equilibrium systems the long-range nature of the hydrodynamic interactions are not required for the formation of hyperuniform patterns, thereby suggesting a robust relation between reversibility and hyperuniformity which should hold in a broad class of periodically driven materials.Comment: 5p, 3f, submitte

    Initial spreading of low-viscosity drops on partially wetting surfaces

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    Liquid drops start spreading directly after brought into contact with a partial wetting substrate. Although this phenomenon involves a three-phase contact line, the spreading motion is very fast. We study the initial spreading dynamics of low-viscosity drops, using two complementary methods: Molecular Dynamics simulations and high-speed imaging. We access previously unexplored length- and time-scales, and provide a detailed picture on how the initial contact between the liquid drop and the solid is established. Both methods unambiguously point towards a spreading regime that is independent of wettability, with the contact radius growing as the square root of time

    Elasto-capillarity at the nanoscale: on the coupling between elasticity and surface energy in soft solids

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    The capillary forces exerted by liquid drops and bubbles on a soft solid are directly measured using molecular dynamics simulations. The force on the solid by the liquid near the contact line is not oriented along the liquid vapor interface nor perpendicular to the solid surface, as usually assumed, but points towards the liquid. It is shown that the elastic deformations induced by this force can only be explained if, contrary to an incompressible liquid, the surface stress is different from the surface energy. Using thermodynamic variations we show that the the surface stress and the surface energy can both be determined accurately by measuring the deformation of a slender body plunged in a liquid. The results obtained from molecular dynamics fully confirm those recently obtained experimentally [Marchand et al. Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 094301 (2012)] for an elastomeric wire

    Drops on soft solids: Free energy and double transition of contact angles

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    The equilibrium shape of liquid drops on elastic substrates is determined by minimising elastic and capillary free energies, focusing on thick incompressible substrates. The problem is governed by three length scales: the size of the drop RR, the molecular size aa, and the ratio of surface tension to elastic modulus γ/E\gamma/E. We show that the contact angles undergo two transitions upon changing the substrates from rigid to soft. The microscopic wetting angles deviate from Young's law when γ/Ea1\gamma/Ea \gg 1, while the apparent macroscopic angle only changes in the very soft limit γ/ER1\gamma/ER \gg 1. The elastic deformations are worked out in the simplifying case where the solid surface energy is assumed constant. The total free energy turns out lower on softer substrates, consistent with recent experiments

    Formation of surface nanobubbles and universality of their contact angles: A molecular dynamics approach

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    We study surface nanobubbles using molecular dynamics simulation of ternary (gas, liquid, solid) systems of Lennard-Jones fluids. They form for sufficiently low gas solubility in the liquid, i.e., for large relative gas concentration. For strong enough gas-solid attraction, the surface nanobubble is sitting on a gas layer, which forms in between the liquid and the solid. This gas layer is the reason for the universality of the contact angle, which we calculate from the microscopic parameters. Under the present equilibrium conditions the nanobubbles dissolve within less of a microsecond, consistent with the view that the experimentally found nanobubbles are stabilized by a nonequilibrium mechanism.Comment: 5p,4

    Origin of line tension for a Lennard-Jones nanodroplet

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    The existence and origin of line tension has remained controversial in literature. To address this issue we compute the shape of Lennard-Jones nanodrops using molecular dynamics and compare them to density functional theory in the approximation of the sharp kink interface. We show that the deviation from Young's law is very small and would correspond to a typical line tension length scale (defined as line tension divided by surface tension) similar to the molecular size and decreasing with Young's angle. We propose an alternative interpretation based on the geometry of the interface at the molecular scale

    Why is surface tension a force parallel to the interface?

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    A paperclip can float on water. Drops of mercury do not spread on a surface. These capillary phenomena are macroscopic manifestations of molecular interactions and can be explained in terms of surface tension. We address several conceptual questions that are often encountered when teaching capillarity and provide a perspective that reconciles the macroscopic viewpoints from thermodynamics and fluid mechanics and the microscopic perspective from statistical physic