Anomalous Temperature-Controlled Concave-Convex Switching of Curved Oil-Water Menisci

Lee Shool, Alexander V. Butenko, Shir R. Liber, Yitzhak Rabin, Eli Sloutskin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


While the curvature of the classical liquid surfaces exhibits only a weak temperature dependence, we demonstrate here a reversible temperature-tunable concave-convex shape switching in capillary-contained, surfactant-decorated, oil-water interfaces. The observed switching gives rise to a concave-convex shape transition, which takes place as a function of the width of the containing capillary. This apparent violation of Young's equation results from a hitherto-unreported sharp reversible hydrophobic-hydrophilic transition of the glass capillary walls. The transition is driven by the interfacial freezing effect, which controls the balance between the competing surfactants' adsorption on, and consequent hydrophobization of, the capillary walls and their incorporation into the interfacially frozen monolayer. Since capillary wetting by surfactant solutions is fundamental for a wide range of technologies and natural phenomena, the present observations have important implications in many fields, from fluid engineering to biology, and beyond.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6834-6839
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Issue number29
StatePublished - 29 Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research is supported by the Israel Science Foundation (Grant No. 1779/17). We thank the Kahn Foundation for the funding of the equipment. Y.R. acknowledges support by grants from the Israel Science Foundation (178/16) and from the Israeli Centers for Research Excellence program of the Planning and Budgeting Committee (1902/12). We are grateful to Moshe Deutsch for his assistance and insightful discussions.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Chemical Society.


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