Role of surfactants on the approaching velocity of two small emulsion drops

K.D. Danov, S.D. Stoyanov, N.K. Vitanov, I.B. Ivanov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Here we present the exact solution of two approaching spherical droplets problem, at small Reynolds and Peclet numbers, taking into account surface shear and dilatational viscosities, Gibbs elasticity, surface and bulk diffusivities due to the presence of surfactant in both disperse and continuous phases. For large interparticle distances, the drag force coefficient, f, increases only about 50% from fully mobile to tangentially immobile interfaces, while at small distances, f can differ several orders of magnitude. There is significant influence of the degree of surface coverage, 0, on hydrodynamic resistance beta for insoluble surfactant monolayers. When the surfactant is soluble only in the continuous phase the bulk diffusion suppresses the Marangoni effect only for very low values of 0, while in reverse situation, the bulk diffusion from the drop phase is more efficient and the hydrodynamic resistance is lower. Surfactants with low value of the critical micelle concentration (CMC) make the interfaces tangentially immobile, while large CMC surfactants cannot suppress interfacial mobility, which lowers the hydrodynamic resistance between drops. For micron-sized droplets the interfacial viscosities practically block the surface mobility and they approach each other as solid spheres with high values of the drag coefficient.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)342-355
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • thin liquid-films
  • colliding small bubbles
  • spherical drops
  • ionic surfactants
  • viscous-fluid
  • slow motion
  • soluble surfactants
  • lubrication force
  • oleyl alcohol
  • adsorption


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