Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Interfacial instabilities and wetting behaviour in confinement
Author: Setu, Siti Aminah
ISNI:       0000 0004 5369 5985
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Restricted access.
Access from Institution:
Interfacial instabilities and wetting phenomena of phase separated colloid-polymer mixtures are addressed in this study. Colloidal particles offer certain advantages over molecular systems, due to their larger lengthscales and slower timescales. Moreover, the phenomena can be directly visualised using laser scanning confocal microscopy, and a perfect match with soft-lithography fabrication techniques can be exploited. In particular, we study the viscous fingering instability in three dimensions, focusing on the role of wetting conditions and of thermal fluctuations. Combined with results obtained by lattice Boltzmann simulations, we reveal that the cross-over of the meniscus in the direction across the channel thickness is controlled by the capillary and Peclet numbers, and viscosity contrast of the system. The curvature of the meniscus has a pronounced effect on the onset of the Saffman-Taylor instability, in which the formation of the viscous fingers is suppressed up to a certain threshold. Furthermore, we investigate a related contact line instability, which leads to entrainment and subsequent droplet pinch-off. A theoretical prediction for the onset of the instability is developed, which shows a good agreement with the experimental observations and yields a method to directly measure the slip length of the interface. The large thermal fluctuations of our interface play an important role in pinch-off events, leading to periodic emission of droplets of similar sizes. Finally, we study wetting phenomena at geometrically sculpted walls. We focus on the shape, the thickness and the radius of curvature of the adsorbed liquid film, and find good agreement with theory. Changing the curvature of the wedge from a flat surface to a capil- lary slit furthermore smoothly connects wetting behaviour and capillary condensation, again in qualitative agreement with theory. Non-equilibrium effects may interfere with the data and are difficult to rule out. We end with recommendations for future work.
Supervisor: Aarts, Dirk Sponsor: Malaysian Government
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Physical & theoretical chemistry ; Physical and theoretical chemistry ; colloid-polymer mixtures ; Saffman-Taylor instability ; contact line instability ; droplet pinch-off ; wetting