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Capillary interaction between anisotropic colloids at fluid-fluid interfaces

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Ed Brambley.

A colloidal particle of intermediate wettability coming into contact with the interface between two immiscible fluids can remain irreversibly trapped in it. This phenomenon, which is due to capillary forces, is exploited in a variety of applications, from solid-stabilized emulsions to the production of advanced functional materials. While smooth and chemically homogeneous spherical particles do not distort the interface to which they adsorb, anisotropic particles (cylinders, ellipsoids, etc.) do induce interfacial distortions. This distortion results in lateral capillary interactions that act at distances much larger than the characteristic particle size. In this talk, I will present results for a combined experimental, numerical and theoretical effort to predict the far- and near-field capillary interaction between anisotropic interfacial colloids. The study of this system poses interesting mathematical problems, and suggests research areas to which fluid mechanicians can make important contributions.

This talk is part of the Fluid Mechanics (DAMTP) series.

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