Dynamics of surfactant-driven fracture of particle rafts

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Original entry by Joerg Fritz, AP225 Fall 2009


"Dynamics of Surfactant-Driven Fracture of Particle Rafts"

Dominic Vella, Ho-Young Kim, Pascale Aussillous, and L. Mahadevan: Physical Review Letters, 2006, 96, pp 178301-1 to 178301-4.


Particle rafts, Surfactant, Fracture, Cracking, Particulate interface, Surface tension


If a densely packed monolayer of particles (a particle raft) at the interface between two fluids with a large difference of surface pressure (such as air and water) comes into contact with surfactants, the monolayer shows a rick cracking behavior. This can for example be observed when drinking black tea, where tea particles hanging together at the surface are being broken apart by the addition of milk.

thumb|400px|Fig.1 The addition of a drop of surfactant to a monolayer of particles leads to the propagation of cracks, seen in black.

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