Surfactant-influenced gas-liquid interfaces: Nonlinear equation of state and finite surface viscosities

Juan Lopez, Amir H. Hirsa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


A canonical flow geometry was utilized for a fundamental study of the coupling between bulk flow and a Newtonian gas-liquid interface in the presence of an insoluble surfactant. We develop a Navier-Stokes numerical model of the flow in the deep-channel surface viscometer geometry, which consists of stationary inner and outer cylinders, a floor rotating at a constant angular velocity, and an interface covered initially by a uniformly distributed surfactant. Here, the floor of the annular channel is rotated fast enough so the flow is nonlinear and drives the film toward the inner cylinder. The boundary conditions at the interface are functions of the surface tension, surface shear viscosity, and surface dilatational viscosity, as described by the Boussinesq-Scriven surface model. A physical surfactant system, namely hemicyanine, an insoluble monolayer on an air-water interface, with measured values of surface tension and surface shear viscosity versus concentration, was used in this study. We find that a surfactant front can form, depending on the Reynolds number and the initial surfactant concentration. The stress balance in the radial direction was found to be dominated by the Marangoni stress, but the azimuthal stress was only due to the surface shear viscosity. Numerical studies are presented comparing results of surfactant-influenced interface cases implementing the derived viscoelastic interfacial stress balance with those using a number of idealized stress balances, as well as a rigid no-slip surface, providing added insight into the altered dynamics that result from the presence of a surfactant monolayer. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)575-583
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Colloid And Interface Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 15 2000


  • Contamination front
  • Deep-channel surface viscometer
  • Insoluble surfactants
  • Nonlinear equation of state
  • Surface shear viscosity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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