Enhanced drainage and thinning of liquid films between bubbles and solids that support surface waves.

Research paper by Amihai A Horesh, Matvey M Morozov, Ofer O Manor

Indexed on: 18 Jun '17Published on: 18 Jun '17Published in: Physical review. E


We study the thinning and drainage of the intermediate liquid film between a bubble and a solid surface at close proximity in the presence of a surface acoustic wave (SAW) in the solid. Specifically, we employ the diffraction of light to observe a long air bubble confined in a solid rectangular channel filled with silicone oil. This setup, constituting a two-dimensional physical model of thin film drainage, allows us to analyze the influence of a SAW on the rate of thinning of the micron-thick liquid film separating the bubble and the solid substrate. The viscous penetration of the SAW into the liquid imposes a convective drift of mass, redistributing the fluid in the film against capillary resistance and producing a net drift of liquid out of the film. The rate of drainage of liquid from the film increases by one to several orders of magnitude in comparison to the rate of drainage due to the Laplace pressure of the bubble alone. The experimental findings agree well with a newly developed theory describing the SAW-enhanced drainage as a competition between the capillary flow and SAW-induced streaming.