Effects of surfactant transport on electrodeformation of a viscous drop

Herve Nganguia, On Shun Pak, Y. N. Young

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9 Scopus citations


In this work we quantify the effects of surfactant transport on the deformation of a viscous drop under a DC electric field. We study how convective and diffusive transport of surfactants at drop surfaces influence the equilibrium and dynamic deformation of a leaky dielectric drop and a conducting drop. Focusing on the prolate drop shape (elongates along the electric field), we show the differences in equilibrium deformation and flow circulation between a leaky dielectric drop and a conducting drop. We quantify the drop electrodeformation via its dependence on the interior flow circulation and the dominant surfactant transport regime (characterized by the surface Péclet number Pes). For a leaky dielectric drop with dominant surfactant diffusion (Pes1), equator-to-pole (pole-to-equator) circulation yields smaller (larger) equilibrium deformation with increasing surfactant coverage, compared to a clean drop. However, when convection dominates (Pes≫1), the equilibrium drop deformation increases (decreases) with larger surfactant coverage for equator-to-pole (pole-to-equator) circulation. Larger equilibrium drop deformation is found for a leaky dielectric drop than a conducting drop when the interior flow is from equator to pole. For an interior flow from pole to equator, we identify cases where larger deformation is found for a conducting interior fluid. Finally, we study the effect of the surfactant transport on the dynamic evolution of drop shape. We found the drop undergoes an overshoot in the early deformation phase, before settling to its equilibrium shape - similar to the overshoot observed for unsteady Stokes flow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number063104
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 10 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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