Operating windows for oscillatory interfacial shear rheology

D. Renggli, A. Alicke, R. H. Ewoldt, J. Vermant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Interfacial rheology becomes important when surface active species such as surfactants, particles, or proteins are present in sufficient quantities at liquid-liquid interfaces and interact between them. Interfacial rheometry measurements are challenging for various reasons. The mechanical response of the thin interface is often weaker compared to that of bulk materials and so one is often measuring close to the lower force and torque limits of rheometers, hence signal-to-noise ratios merit closer attention. In addition, the role of both instrument and sample inertia is more important for interfacial rheometry compared to bulk rheometry. Effects of misalignment and imperfections of the measurement geometries lead to effects of surface and line tension. Finally, peculiar for interfacial rheometry is the need to deconvolute the contributions of flow and deformation in the surrounding phases from that at the interface. Whereas some of these aspects have received attention in previous works, a clear and unambiguous view on the operating limits of interfacial rheometers has been missing. In the present work, we investigate the different experimental challenges and develop a generic methodology, which provides a clear definition of the operating limits of various interfacial rheometers including the interfacial needle shear rheometer, the double wall ring, and the bicone geometries. We validate this methodology by investigating the limitations defined intrinsically by the instrument as well as the ones emerging from the properties of the interface of interest for an interface composed of fatty alcohols which represents a challenging test case. The results provide cautionary examples and clear guidelines for anyone measuring interfacial rheology with these direct rheological techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-160
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Rheology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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