Connect the drops: using solids as adhesives for liquids

Langmuir. 2004 Jun 8;20(12):4805-8. doi: 10.1021/la049778e.


Colloidal particles are shown to be capable of developing adhesion between liquid phases through a bridging mechanism by which intervening, micrometer-scaled, fluid films are stabilized. Particle dynamics leading to the assembly of the stabilizing structure are discussed. Models for the resulting adhesive force are developed from considerations of both interface shape perturbation and the force applied by surface tension on an individual particle. Finally, predictions from these models are compared to direct measurements of the forces that arise during the separation of adhering interfaces. Such comparisons lead to a novel method for determining the three-phase contact angle inherent to particles residing at fluid interfaces.