Volume 10, Issue 2
Numerical Study of Surfactant-laden Drop-drop Interactions

Jian-Jun Xu ,  Zhilin Li ,  John Lowengrub and Hongkai Zhao


Commun. Comput. Phys., 10 (2011), pp. 453-473.

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  • Abstract

In this paper, we numerically investigate the effects of surfactant on dropdrop interactions in a 2D shear flow using a coupled level-set and immersed interface approach proposed in (Xu et al., J. Comput. Phys., 212 (2006), 590–616). We find that surfactant plays a critical and nontrivial role in drop-drop interactions. In particular, we find that the minimum distance between the drops is a non-monotone function of the surfactant coverage and Capillary number. This non-monotonic behavior, which does not occur for clean drops, is found to be due to the presence of Marangoni forces along the drop interfaces. This suggests that there are non-monotonic conditions for coalescence of surfactant-laden drops, as observed in recent experiments of Leal and co-workers. Although our study is two-dimensional, we believe that drop-drop interactions in three-dimensional flows should be qualitatively similar as the Maragoni forces in the near contact region in 3D should have a similar effect.

  • History

Published online: 2011-10

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