Wetting in Color: Colorimetric Differentiation of Organic Liquids with High Selectivity

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[under construction: Ian Burgess, Spring 2012]


Every liquid has a surface tension. Likewise, every liquid will display a contact angle on an ideal flat surface with a given surface chemistry (where this contact angle could be 0). Simple diagnostics that differentiate liquids based on surface tension and wettability have the potential therefore to be useful in a broad range of scenarios. This paper presents a form of colorimetry based on wetting, where organic liquids induce the appearance of color patterns in an indicator material that are highly sensitive to the liquids' wetting properties.