This paper highlights the influence of contact line (pinning) forces on the mobility of dry bubbles in microchannels. Bubbles moving at velocities less than the dewetting velocity of liquid on the surface are essentially dry, meaning that there is no thin liquid film around the bubbles. For these “dry” bubbles, contact line forces and a possible capillary pressure gradient induced by pinning act on the bubbles and resist motion. Without sufficient driving force (e.g., external pressure), a dry bubble is brought to stagnation. For the first time, a bipartite theoretical model that estimates the required pressure difference across the length of stagnant bubbles with concave and convex back interfaces to overcome the contact line forces and stimulate motion is proposed. To validate our theory, the pressure required to move a single dry bubble in square microchannels exhibiting contact angle hysteresis has been measured. The working fluid was de-ionized water. The experiments have been conducted on coated glass channels with different surface hydrophilicities that resulted in concave and convex back interfaces for the bubbles. The experimental results were in agreement with the model's predictions for square channels. The predictions of the concave and convex back models were within 19% and 27% of the experimental measurements, respectively.
The Role of Contact Line (Pinning) Forces on Bubble Blockage in Microchannels
Contributed by the Fluids Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FLUIDS ENGINEERING. Manuscript received April 21, 2014; final manuscript received November 4, 2014; published online January 14, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Ali Beskok.
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Mohammadi, M., and Sharp, K. V. (March 1, 2015). "The Role of Contact Line (Pinning) Forces on Bubble Blockage in Microchannels." ASME. J. Fluids Eng. March 2015; 137(3): 031208. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4029033
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