Particles at Liquid Interfaces
Energy Barrier to Particle Surface Adsorption

Manoharan showed that there is a barrier that can prevent particles from reaching an interface, despite the fact that the total system energy can be decreased significantly when the particle is at the interface, due to the lowering of the total surface energy. Moreover, when the particle overcomes the barrier, it still approaches its equilibrium state very slowly, requiring as much as a week. Brenner treated this phenomenon theoretically to incorporate the consequences of energy barriers, and obtained good agreement with the experiment. These results will help creation of particle-stabilized emulsions with improved stability.

David A. Weitz (Physics & Applied Physics)
Vinothan N. Manoharan (Applied Physics, and Materials and Mechanical Engineering)
Michael P. Brenner (Applied Math)
Harvard MRSEC (DMR-1420570)