Volume 85, Number 2, January 2009
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Section||Interdisciplinary Physics and Related Areas of Science and Technology|
|Published online||30 January 2009|
Self-assembled capillary arrows
Université de Bordeaux, Centre de Recherche Paul Pascal - CNRS - 115 Avenue A. Schweitzer, Pessac, F - 33600, France, EU
Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 18 December 2008
Anisotropic particles adsorbed at a water-air interface are known to aggregate due to capillary interactions. We show that the packing configuration of a pair of prolate ellipsoids critically depends on their relative size and/or aspect ratio mismatch. While identical particles simply pack side-by-side, particles of slightly different sizes are observed to systematically self-assemble into characteristic arrows, i.e. with a finite angle between their axes. The occurrence of such arrows cannot be explained within the far-field approximation of interacting polar quadrupoles. A numerical analysis is worked out which allows us to explore the near-field characteristics of the capillary interaction. Results clearly show the destabilization of the side-by-side configuration due to a size mismatch, in agreement with experimental observations.
PACS: 82.70.Dd – Colloids / 68.03.Cd – Surface tension and related phenomena / 68.08.Bc – Wetting
© EPLA, 2009
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