Motion of a spherical particle near a planar fluid-fluid interface: The effect of surface incompressibility

J. Bławzdziewicz, M. L. Ekiel-Jeewska, E. Wajnryb

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26 Scopus citations


Hydrodynamic coupling of a spherical particle to an undeformable planar fluid-fluid interface under creeping-flow conditions is discussed. The interface can be either surfactant-free or covered with an incompressible surfactant monolayer. In the incompressible surfactant limit, a uniform surfactant concentration is maintained by Marangoni stresses associated with infinitesimal surfactant redistribution. Our detailed numerical calculations show that the effect of surface incompressibility on lateral particle motion is accurately accounted for by the first reflection of the flow from the interface. For small particle-interface distances, the remaining contributions are significant, but they are weakly affected by the surface incompressibility. We show that for small particle-wall gaps, the transverse and lateral particle resistance coefficients can be rescaled onto corresponding universal master curves. The scaling functions depend on a scaling variable that combines the particle-wall gap with the viscosity ratio between fluids on both sides of the interface. A logarithmic dependence of the contact value of the lateral resistance function on the viscosity ratio is derived. Accurate numerical calculations are performed using our Cartesian-representation method.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114702
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number11
StatePublished - Sep 21 2010


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