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Capillary rise of superspreaders

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Trisiloxane surfactants, known as 'superspreaders', are commonly employed in numerous applications where enhanced wetting is of the utmost importance. The underlying mechanisms of superspreader wetting have been a focus of scientific interest for ca. 2 decades, and a number of mechanisms have been proposed to explain the unique trisiloxane dynamics. We have studied trisiloxane behaviour in thin capillaries to get further insight into their interfacial activity. Additionally, our knowledge of the capillary rise of superspreaders is surprisingly limited, and the effect of this extraordinary group of surfactants on capillary phenomena has been largely overlooked. Diffusion was confirmed to be the limiting factor of trisiloxane behaviour. A tentative theoretical explanation for the phenomenon studied and an appropriate mathematical model are presented. It is concluded that the enhancement of wetting due to surfactant addition is also a function of geometry: the effect is clear for a sessile drop, but more complex and less beneficial in a capillary.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)643-648
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2011

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