Co-Advisor: Professor Eric Shaqfeh
B.S. Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2014
M.S. Chemical Engineering Practice (MSCEP), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2015
Thin liquid films are prevalent in the mechanics of emulsions and foams, and throughout the human body. Experimental and theoretical studies have been conducted to understand the detailed flow physics during the process of thin film formation, drainage, and rupture. It is known that the presence of surfactants alters the dynamics and stability of thin films by introducing excess interfacial stresses. These include contributions from Marangoni stresses caused by surface tension gradients, mass transport of surfactants within the interface and throughout the bulk fluid, and deviatoric rheological stresses due to surface deformation. Traditionally, these effects are lumped together in a single parameter that characterizes the degree of mobility of the interface. Although attractive from a theoretical perspective, this approach is insufficient to explain differences in the rate of drainage and the stability of thin films. We will be conducting theoretical and experimental studies to better understand the dynamics and stability of thin film formation and drainage, using different types and concentrations of surfactants in systems with one or two free surfaces. Thus, we hope to be able to better describe and distinguish the effects of interfacial rheology and Marangoni stresses in the spatiotemporal evolution of thin liquid films.