Brown University School of Engineering

CFM/FTCP Seminar: Liquid Interfaces and Solid Particles: Simple Geometry, Complex Interactions, and Novel Materials

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Tuesday, April 03, 2012 3:00pm - 4:00pm

A.D. Dinsmore Physics Department University of Massachusetts Amherst Amherst, MA Liquid Interfaces and Solid Particles: Simple Geometry, Complex Interactions, and Novel Materials The interface between liquids provides a versatile platform for assembly of small particles for functional membranes, capsules, and other materials. Owing to the interfacial tension, nanometer-to-millimeter-sized particles readily adsorb at the interface and become confined there. Here I will focus on of the role of the interfacial curvature when spherical particles bind. While adsorption on planar interfaces is reasonably well understood (in the absence of electrostatic charge), adsorption on anisotropically curved interfaces leads to geometric frustration that has some surprising consequences. I will describe experimental measurements of the interactions among particles as well as theoretical calculations. Using our model, we predict that spherical particles on constant-mean-curvature interfaces are driven toward lower Gaussian curvature, i.e., toward saddle-shaped regions. This "curvature-capillary" interaction may help explain the stability of Pickering emulsions and point the way to new methods of directing particle assembly. This work was done in collaboration with Nesrin Senbil, Chuan Zeng and Benny Davidovitch. I acknowledge support from the NSF-funded UMass MRSEC on Polymers and NSF grant CBET-0967620. Host: Petia Vlahovska - Petia_Vlahovska@brown.edu