Europhys. Lett.
Volume 68, Number 2, October 2004
Page(s) 212 - 218
Section Condensed matter: structure, mechanical and thermal properties
Published online 01 October 2004
Europhys. Lett., 68 (2), pp. 212-218 (2004)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2004-10202-x

Elasticity of an interfacial particle raft

D. Vella1, P. Aussillous2 and L. Mahadevan1

1  Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
2  Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics University of Cambridge - Wilberforce Road, Cambridge, CB3 0WA, UK

received 12 March 2004; accepted in final form 30 August 2004

We study the collective behaviour of a close-packed monolayer of non-Brownian particles at a fluid-liquid interface. Such a particle raft forms a two-dimensional elastic solid and can support anisotropic stresses and strains, e.g. it buckles in uniaxial compression and cracks in tension. We characterise this solid in terms of Young's modulus and Poisson ratio derived from simple theoretical considerations and show the validity of these estimates by using an experimental buckling assay to deduce Young's modulus.

62.20.Dc - Elasticity, elastic constants.
68.03.-g - Gas-liquid and vacuum-liquid interfaces.
46.32.+x - Static buckling and instability.

© EDP Sciences 2004