Measuring Interfacial Tension with the Pendant Drop Method
Mohan, Kevin K
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In the field of soft condensed matter and in particular, microfluidics, the understanding of surface tension is vital. Interfacial tension (IFT), fundamentally defines liquid interactions at the micro-scale. To give some perspective of the importance of understanding this tension, gravity hardly plays a role given the tiny masses of micro particles when compared to the role that surface tension plays. Most of the current studies on IFT rely on some application of the differential Young-Laplace equation, which expresses the equilibrium condition across an interface. The application of the Young-Laplace equation goes as far as to state the fundamental set of differential equations that define the forces and geometries of the traditional pendant drop, however, it uses an approximate shape parameter that is taken from empirical data. Using the power of modern computing power, the research will analyze the second order partial differential Young-Laplace Equation in its association with the interfacial tension between different interfaces using a computer program written in MATLAB. The differential Laplace Equation will be applied in conjunction with image processing and other data processing methods to develop a real time user-friendly IFT calculator that takes in an image of a liquid immersed in another liquid and outputs a value of the interfacial tension between the two immiscible fluids all in real time.