Effect of soluble surfactants on pinch-off of moderately viscous drops and satellite size

Nina M. Kovalchuk, Hannah Jenkinson, Reinhard Miller, Mark J. H. Simmons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
179 Downloads (Pure)



Surfactant redistribution in a liquid bridge close to drop detachment depends on competition between the bridge deformation rate and surfactant equilibration rate. Surfactant effect can be different in situations when diffusion coefficient changes independently of thinning kinetics or in line with it. Using moderately viscous liquids should allow both situations to be explored experimentally.


Formation of liquid drops at the tip of capillary is studied experimentally for silicone oils and for surfactant-laden and surfactant-free water/glycerol mixtures of moderate viscosity with particular attention to the kinetics of liquid bridge close to pinch-off and formation of satellite droplets.


Effect of surfactant depends on the dynamic regime of the bridge thinning. In the presence of surfactant, inertial kinetics slows down close to pinch-off demonstrating effective surface tension smaller than dynamic surface tension. An acceleration of thinning kinetics caused by depletion of surfactant from the liquid bridge was observed in viscous and visco-inertial regimes. The size of satellite droplets has a maximum versus viscosity; increasing with surfactant concentration at smaller viscosities and decreasing with an increase of surfactant concentration at largest studied viscosity, where inversion of the pinch-off point was observed for surfactant solutions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-191
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Early online date11 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2018


  • drop formation
  • viscosity
  • dynamic surface tension
  • ohnesorge number
  • kinetics near pinch-off
  • sattelite droplet
  • diffusion coefficient


Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of soluble surfactants on pinch-off of moderately viscous drops and satellite size'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this