Volume 75, Number 1, July 2006
|Page(s)||174 - 180|
|Section||Interdisciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology|
|Published online||26 May 2006|
Effective forces between colloids at interfaces induced by capillary wavelike fluctuations
Max-Planck-Institut für Metallforschung - Heisenbergstr. 3 D-70569 Stuttgart, Germany and Institut für Theoretische und Angewandte Physik, Universität Stuttgart Pfaffenwaldring 57, D-70569 Stuttgart, Germany
Accepted: 29 April 2006
We calculate the effective force mediated by thermally excited capillary waves between spherical or disklike colloids trapped at a fluid interface. This Casimir type interaction is shown to depend sensitively on the boundary conditions imposed at the three-phase contact line. For large distances between the colloids an unexpected cancellation of attractive and repulsive contributions is observed leading to a fluctuation force which decays algebraically very rapidly. For small separations the resulting force is rather strong and it may play an important role in two-dimensional colloid aggregation if direct van der Waals forces are weak.
PACS: 82.70.Dd – Colloids / 68.03.Kn – Dynamics (capillary waves)
© EDP Sciences, 2006
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