Elastometry of Complex Fluid Pendant Capsules

Amy Z. Stetten, Felix S. Kratz, Nathalie Schilderink, Subhash Ayirala, Michael H.G. Duits*, Jan Kierfeld, Frieder Mugele

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Oil/water interfaces are ubiquitous in nature. Opposing polarities at these interfaces attract surface-active molecules, which can seed complex viscoelastic or even solid interfacial structure. Biorelevant proteins such as hydrophobin, polymers such as PNIPAM, and the asphaltenes in crude oil (CRO) are examples of some systems where such layers can occur. When a pendant drop of CRO is aged in brine, it can form an interfacial elastic membrane of asphaltenes so stiff that it wrinkles and crumples upon retraction. Most of the work studying CRO/brine interfaces focuses on the viscoelastic liquid regime, leaving a wide range of fully solidified, elastic interfaces largely unexplored. In this work, we quantitatively measure elasticity in all phases of drop retraction. In early retraction, the interface shows a fluid viscoelasticity measurable using a Gibbs isotherm or dilatational rheology. Further retraction causes a phase transition to a 2D elastic solid with nonisotropic, nonhomogeneous surface stresses. In this regime, we use new techniques in the elastic membrane theory to fit for the elasticities of these solid capsules. These elastic measurements can help us develop a deeper understanding not only of CRO interfaces but also of the myriad fluid systems with solid interfacial layers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16303-16314
Number of pages12
Issue number46
Early online date8 Nov 2023
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2023


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