Skip to main content
eScholarship
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Surface shear inviscidity of soluble surfactants

  • Author(s): Zell, ZA
  • Nowbahar, A
  • Mansard, V
  • Leal, LG
  • Deshmukh, SS
  • Mecca, JM
  • Tucker, CJ
  • Squires, TM
  • et al.
Abstract

Foam and emulsion stability has long been believed to correlate with the surface shear viscosity of the surfactant used to stabilize them. Many subtleties arise in interpreting surface shear viscosity measurements, however, and correlations do not necessarily indicate causation. Using a sensitive technique designed to excite purely surface shear deformations, we make the most sensitive and precise measurements to date of the surface shear viscosity of a variety of soluble surfactants, focusing on SDS in particular. Our measurements reveal the surface shear viscosity of SDS to be below the sensitivity limit of our technique, giving an upper bound of order 0.01 μN·s/m. This conflicts directly with almost all previous studies,which reported values up to 103-104 times higher. Multiple control and complementary measurements confirm this result, including direct visualization of monolayer deformation, for SDS and a wide variety of soluble polymeric, ionic, and nonionic surfactants of high- and low-foaming character. No soluble, small-molecule surfactant was found to have a measurable surface shear viscosity, which seriously undermines most support for any correlation between foam stability and surface shear rheology of soluble surfactants.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC Academic Senate's Open Access Policy. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
Current View