Filling of charged cylindrical capillaries

Siddhartha Das, Sourayon Chanda, J.C.T. Eijkel, N.R. Tas, Suman Chakraborty, Sushanta K. Mitra

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26 Citations (Scopus)
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We provide an analytical model to describe the filling dynamics of horizontal cylindrical capillaries having charged walls. The presence of surface charge leads to two distinct effects: It leads to a retarding electrical force on the liquid column and also causes a reduced viscous drag force because of decreased velocity gradients at the wall. Both these effects essentially stem from the spontaneous formation of an electric double layer (EDL) and the resulting streaming potential caused by the net capillary-flow-driven advection of ionic species within the EDL. Our results demonstrate that filling of charged capillaries also exhibits the well-known linear and Washburn regimes witnessed for uncharged capillaries, although the filling rate is always lower than that of the uncharged capillary. We attribute this to a competitive success of the lowering of the driving forces (because of electroviscous effects), in comparison to the effect of weaker drag forces. We further reveal that the time at which the transition between the linear and the Washburn regime occurs may become significantly altered with the introduction of surface charges, thereby altering the resultant capillary dynamics in a rather intricate manner.
Original languageEnglish
Article number043011
Number of pages11
JournalPhysical review E: Statistical, nonlinear, and soft matter physics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 16 Oct 2014


  • EWI-25473
  • METIS-309758
  • IR-93313


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