Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Surfactant Dynamics: Spreading and Wave Induced Dynamics of a Monolayer
by Strickland, Stephen Lee, Ph.D., North Carolina State University, 2015, 215; 10110541
Abstract (Summary)

Material adsorbed to the surface of a fluid - for instance crude oil in the ocean, biological surfactant on ocular or pulmonary mucous, or emulsions - can form a 2-dimensional mono-molecular layer. These materials, called surfactants, can behave like a compressible viscous 2-dimensional fluid, and can generate surface stresses that influence the sub-fluid’s bulk flow. Additionally, the sub-fluid’s flow can advect the surfactant and generate gradients in the surfactant distribution and thereby generate gradients in the interfacial properties. Due to the difficulty of non-invasive measurements of the spatial distribution of a molecular monolayer at the surface, little is known about the dynamics that couple the surface motion and the evolving density field.

In this dissertation, I will present a novel method for measuring the spatiotemporal dynamics of the surfactant surface density through the fluorescence emission of NBD-tagged phosphatidylcholine, a lipid, and we will compare the surfactant dynamics to the dynamics of the surface morphology.With this method, we will consider the inward and outward spreading of a surfactant on a thin fluid film as well as the advection of a surfactant by linear and non-linear gravity-capillary waves. These two types of surfactant coupled fluid flows will allow us to probe well-accepted assumptions about the coupled fluid-surfactant dynamics. In chapter 1, we review the models used for understanding the spreading of a surfactant on a thin fluid film and the motion of surfactant on a linear gravity-capillary wave. In chapter 2, we will present the experimental methods used in this dissertation. In chapter 3, we will study the outward spreading of a localized region of surfactant and show that the spreading of a monolayer is considerably different from the spreading of thicker-layered surfactant. In chapter 4, we will investigate the inward spreading of a surfactant into a circular surfactant-free region and show that hole closure and the rate of hole closure depends upon the mean surfactant concentration. In chapter 5, we will consider the effects of surface gravity-capillary waves on a monolayer of surfactant and identify that surfactant accumulates on the leading edge of a traveling wave and in the troughs of a standing wave. In chapter 6, we quantify the effect of surfactant on the onset of Faraday waves. In all of these chapters, we will show that the current theoretical understanding is unable to fully capture the dynamics of the surfactant distribution.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Daniels, Karen E.
Commitee:
School: North Carolina State University
School Location: United States -- North Carolina
Source: DAI-B 77/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Physics
Keywords: Capillary waves, Faraday waves, Monolayers, Surfactants
Publication Number: 10110541
ISBN: 9781339737867
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