Surfactant solutions and porous substrates: spreading and imbibition.Adv Colloid Interface Sci 2004; 111(1-2):3-27AC
In Section 1, spreading of small liquid drops over thin dry porous layers is investigated from both theoretical and experimental points of view [V.M. Starov, S.R. Kosvintsev, V.D. Sobolev, M.G. Velarde, S.A. Zhdanov, J. Colloid Interface Sci. 252 (2002) 397]. Drop motion over a porous layer is caused by an interplay of two processes: (a) the spreading of the drop over already saturated parts of the porous layer, which results in an expanding of the drop base, and (b) the imbibition of the liquid from the drop into the porous substrate, which results in a shrinkage of the drop base and an expanding of the wetted region inside the porous layer. As a result of these two competing processes, the radius of the drop goes through a maximum value over time. A system of two differential equations has been derived to describe the evolution with time of radii of both the drop base and the wetted region inside the porous layer. This system includes two parameters, one accounts for the effective lubrication coefficient of the liquid over the wetted porous substrate, and the other is a combination of permeability and effective capillary pressure inside the porous layer. Two additional experiments were used for an independent determination of these two parameters. The system of differential equations does not include any fitting parameter after these two parameters are determined. Experiments were carried out on the spreading of silicone oil drops over various dry microfiltration membranes (permeable in both normal and tangential directions). The time evolution of the radii of both the drop base and the wetted region inside the porous layer were monitored. All experimental data fell on two universal curves if appropriate scales are used with a plot of the dimensionless radii of the drop base and of the wetted region inside the porous layer on dimensionless time. The predicted theoretical relationships are two universal curves accounting quite satisfactory for the experimental data. According to theory predictions : (i) the dynamic contact angle dependence on the same dimensionless time as before should be a universal function, and (ii) the dynamic contact angle should change rapidly over an initial short stage of spreading and should remain a constant value over the duration of the rest of the spreading process. The constancy of the contact angle on this stage has nothing to do with hysteresis of the contact angle: there is no hysteresis in the system under investigation. These conclusions again are in good agreement with experimental observations [V.M. Starov, S.R. Kosvintsev, V.D. Sobolev, M.G. Velarde, S.A. Zhdanov, J. Colloid Interface Sci. 252 (2002) 397]. In Section 2, experimental investigations are reviewed on the spreading of small drops of aqueous SDS solutions over dry thin porous substrates (nitrocellulose membranes) in the case of partial wetting [S. Zhdanov, V. Starov, V. Sobolev, M. Velarde, Spreading of aqueous SDS solutions over nitrocellulose membranes. J. Colloid Interface Sci. 264 (2003) 481-489]. The time evolution was monitored of the radii of both the drop base and the wetted area inside the porous substrate. The total duration of the spreading process was subdivided into three stages-the first stage: the drop base expands until the maximum value of the drop base is reached; the contact angle rapidly decreases during this stage; the second stage: the radius of the drop base remains constant and the contact angle decreases linearly with time; the third stage: the drop base shrinks and the contact angle remains constant. The wetted area inside the porous substrate expends during the whole spreading process. Appropriate scales were used with a plot of the dimensionless radii of the drop base, of the wetted area inside the porous substrate, and the dynamic contact angle on the dimensionless time. Experimental data showed [S. Zhdanov, V. Starov, V. Sobolev, M. Velarde, Spreading of aqueous SDS solutions over nitrocellulose membranes. J. Colloid Interface Sci. 264 (2003) 481-489]: the overall time of the spreading of drops of SDS solution over dry thin porous substrates decreases with the increase of surfactant concentration; the difference between advancing and hydrodynamic receding contact angles decreases with the surfactant concentration increase; the constancy of the contact angle during the third stage of spreading has nothing to do with the hysteresis of contact angle, but determined by the hydrodynamic reasons. It is shown using independent spreading experiments of the same drops on nonporous nitrocellulose substrate that the static receding contact angle is equal to zero, which supports the conclusion on the hydrodynamic nature of the hydrodynamic receding contact angle on porous substrates. In Section 3, a theory is developed to describe a spontaneous imbibition of surfactant solutions into hydrophobic capillaries, which takes into account the micelle disintegration and the concentration decreasing close to the moving meniscus as a result of adsorption, as well as the surface diffusion of surfactant molecules [N.V. Churaev, G.A. Martynov, V.M. Starov, Z.M. Zorin, Colloid Polym. Sci. 259 (1981) 747]. The theory predictions are in good agreement with the experimental investigations on the spontaneous imbibition of the nonionic aqueous surfactant solution, Syntamide-5, into hydrophobized quartz capillaries. A theory of the spontaneous capillary rise of surfactant solutions in hydrophobic capillaries is presented, which connects the experimental observations with the adsorption of surfactant molecules in front of the moving meniscus on the bare hydrophobic interface [V.J. Starov, Colloid Interface Sci. 270 (2003)]. In Section 4, capillary imbibition of aqueous surfactant solutions into dry porous substrates is investigated from both theoretical and experimental points of view in the case of partial wetting [V. Straov, S. Zhdanov, M. Velarde, J. Colloid Interface Sci. 273 (2004) 589]. Cylindrical capillaries are used as a model of porous media for theoretical treatment of the problem. It is shown that if an averaged pore size of the porous medium is below a critical value, then the permeability of the porous medium is not influenced by the presence of surfactants at any concentration: the imbibition front moves exactly in the same way as in the case of the imbibition of the pure water. The critical radius is determined by the adsorption of the surfactant molecules on the inner surface of the pores. If an averaged pore size is bigger than the critical value, then the permeability increases with surfactant concentration. These theoretical conclusions are in agreement with experimental observations. In Section 5, the spreading of surfactant solutions over hydrophobic surfaces is considered from both theoretical and experimental points of view [V.M. Starov, S.R. Kosvintsev, M.G. Velarde, J. Colloid Interface Sci. 227 (2000) 185]. Water droplets do not wet a virgin solid hydrophobic substrate. It is shown that the transfer of surfactant molecules from the water droplet onto the hydrophobic surface changes the wetting characteristics in front of the drop on the three-phase contact line. The surfactant molecules increase the solid-vapor interfacial tension and hydrophilise the initially hydrophobic solid substrate just in front of the spreading drop. This process causes water drops to spread over time. The time of evolution of the spreading of a water droplet is predicted and compared with experimental observations. The assumption that surfactant transfer from the drop surface onto the solid hydrophobic substrate controls the rate of spreading is confirmed by experimental observations. In Section 6, the process of the spontaneous spreading of a droplet of a polar liquid over solid substrate is analyzed in the case when amphiphilic molecules (or their amphiphilic fragments) of the substrate surface layer are capable of overturning, resulting in a partial hydrophilisation of the surface [V.M. Starov, V.M. Rudoy, V.I. Ivanov, Colloid J. (Russian Academy of Sciences English Transaction) 61 (3) (1999) 374]. Such a situation may take place, for example, during contact of an aqueous droplet with the surface of a polymer whose macromolecules have hydrophilic side groups capable of rotating around the backbone and during the wetting of polymers containing surface-active additives or Langmuir-Blodgett films composed of amphiphilic molecules. It was shown that droplet spreading is possible only if the lateral interaction between neighbouring amphiphilic molecules (or groups) takes place. This interaction results in the tangential transfer of "the overturning state" to some distance in front of the advancing three-phase contact line making it partially hydrophilic. The quantitative theory describing the kinetics of droplet spreading is developed with allowance for this mechanism of self-organization of the surface layer of a substrate in the contact with a droplet.