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Adsorption trajectories of nonspherical particles at liquid interfaces

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

S. O. Morgan, J. Fox, C. Lowe, A. M. Adawi, J. S.G. Bouillard, G. J. Stasiuk, T. S. Horozov, D. M.A. Buzza

Original languageEnglish
Article number042604
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number4
PublishedApr 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: This work has received funding from the University of Hull Ph.D. Scholarship Scheme (S.O.M., C.L.), Excel Communications (J.F.), and the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under Grant Agreement No. 861950, project POSEIDON. We thank Vinny Manoharan, Anna Wang, Lucio Isa, Jens Harting, and Ken Brakke for fruitful discussions. We also acknowledge the Viper High Performance Computing facility of the University of Hull and its support team. Publisher Copyright: © 2021 American Physical Society. Copyright: Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

King's Authors


The adsorption of colloidal particles at liquid interfaces is of great importance scientifically and industrially, but the dynamics of the adsorption process is still poorly understood. In this paper we use a Langevin model to study the adsorption dynamics of ellipsoidal colloids at a liquid interface. Interfacial deformations are included by coupling our Langevin dynamics to a finite element model while transient contact line pinning due to nanoscale defects on the particle surface is encoded into our model by renormalizing particle friction coefficients and using dynamic contact angles relevant to the adsorption timescale. Our simple model reproduces the monotonic variation of particle orientation with time that is observed experimentally and is also able to quantitatively model the adsorption dynamics for some experimental ellipsoidal systems but not others. However, even for the latter case, our model accurately captures the adsorption trajectory (i.e., particle orientation versus height) of the particles. Our study clarifies the subtle interplay between capillary, viscous, and contact line forces in determining the wetting dynamics of micron-scale objects, allowing us to design more efficient assembly processes for complex particles at liquid interfaces.

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