Dynamique de films d’eau pressés entre huile et solide : effet du sel et de tensioactifs

Abstract : The interactions between liquid/liquid and solid/liquid interfaces are involved in many industrial processes and fields. However, they have been poorly studied in the past. We focus here on the spontaneous drainage of aqueous solutions of salt or surfactants squeezed between an oil drop and a glass surface. Experimentally, an oil drop immersed in water is driven towards a solid surface; the resulting squeezed water film drains and adopts a dimple shape due to the pressure gradient, and further relaxes to its equilibrium uniform thickness. The thickness profile of the film is measured in space and time by reflection interference microscopy. We have studied both the drainage dynamics and the final equilibrium state reached by the system in presence of salt and/or surfactants. First, we quantify and provide a full description of the drainage dynamics. Three regimes are identified in an aqueous electrolyte: a capillary dominated regime, a mixed capillary and disjoining pressure regime, and a disjoining pressure dominated regime. These regimes are modeled within the lubrication approximation, and the role of the disjoining pressure is precisely investigated in the limit of thicknesses smaller than the range of electrostatic interactions. We derive simple analytical laws describing the drainage dynamics, thus providing tools to uncouple the effect of the film geometry from the effects of the disjoining or capillary pressures. We show that the addition of surfactants does not qualitatively modify the drainage regimes, except at concentrations larger than the critical micellar concentration and very small film thicknesses in which the oil can partially wet the solid, thus slowing down the drainage of the remaining trapped water. In addition, we provide measurements of the boundary condition at the oil/water interface. We confirm the role of Marangoni flows, suggested in the literature and resulting from concentration gradients of species (impurities or surfactants) adsorbed at the interface. We thus show that a solid-like, no-slip boundary condition is generally met at the oil/water interface. However, for low concentrations in adsorbed species, we evidence for the first time a reverse flow at the interface resulting from the approach of the drop and the slow adsorption kinetics of surfactants. In a second part, we focus on the equilibrium state reached by the water film, i.e. either wetting of the solid surface by the oil drop or formation of a stable water film between the drop and the solid. In the latter case, equilibrium results from the balance of the capillary pressure in the drop and the disjoining pressure. By varying the droplet radius, we show it is possible to measure the variations of the disjoining pressure with the film thickness, and that they can be fully described by taking into account the interactions between the charged interfaces. For large capillary pressures or short Debye lengths, the oil wets the solid surface and we show the wetting dynamics is strongly modified depending on surfactant concentration below the cmc: the velocity of the oil/water/solid triple line varied over four decades. We ascribe the observed behaviors to surfactant adsorption at the oil/water and solid/water interfaces, and in particular to the possible formation of surfactant mono or bi-layers on the solid.
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Laure Bluteau. Dynamique de films d’eau pressés entre huile et solide : effet du sel et de tensioactifs. Matière Molle [cond-mat.soft]. PSL Research University, 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017PSLET006⟩. ⟨tel-02286175⟩

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