The unstable and expanding interface between reacting liquids: Theoretical interpretation of negative surface tension

A. Z. Patashinski, R. Orlik, K. Paclawski, Mark A Ratner, B. A. Grzybowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

When a chemical reaction between two immiscible liquids creates surfactant molecules at the interface between them, the interfacial surface tension decreases with increasing amount of surfactant. In particular, an interfacial reaction that is faster than the time scale of system's equilibration can cause a marked increase in the interfacial area due to the surface tension becoming effectively negative. Under these highly nonequilibrium conditions, the interface roughens and develops a variety of interfacial structures ranging from "ripples" to micelle-like formations; in systems of droplets, this process can lead to cycles of droplet elongation and self-division into smaller progenies. In the present work, the emergence and implications of negative surface tension over a "reactive" interface are studied theoretically and using computer simulations. The onset of interfacial instabilities can be described analytically using the methods of linear stability analysis of the continuum theory. For longer times, Molecular Dynamics simulations are implemented which reproduce the formation and increase of interfacial "ripples" at the initial stage, when the interface is a monolayer of surfactant, and widening of the reactive/mixing layer at later times.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1601-1608
Number of pages8
JournalSoft Matter
Volume8
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 7 2012

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Surface-Active Agents
Surface tension
interfacial tension
surfactants
Liquids
liquids
ripples
Linear stability analysis
Computer simulation
Micelles
Surface chemistry
nonequilibrium conditions
progeny
Molecular dynamics
Chemical reactions
Elongation
Monolayers
elongation
division
chemical reactions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics

Cite this

The unstable and expanding interface between reacting liquids : Theoretical interpretation of negative surface tension. / Patashinski, A. Z.; Orlik, R.; Paclawski, K.; Ratner, Mark A; Grzybowski, B. A.

In: Soft Matter, Vol. 8, No. 5, 07.02.2012, p. 1601-1608.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Patashinski, A. Z. ; Orlik, R. ; Paclawski, K. ; Ratner, Mark A ; Grzybowski, B. A. / The unstable and expanding interface between reacting liquids : Theoretical interpretation of negative surface tension. In: Soft Matter. 2012 ; Vol. 8, No. 5. pp. 1601-1608.
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