Effects of interface mobility on the dynamics of colliding bubbles

Ivan Uriev Vakarelski, Fan Yang, Sigurdur T Thoroddsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


At its core, the outcome of the collision between air bubbles is determined by the hydrodynamic interaction forces, which in turn are strongly dependent on the tangential mobility of the gas-liquid interfaces. A clean gas-liquid interface is tangentially mobile, whereas the presence of surfactant contaminants can immobilise the interface. Bubbles with mobile surfaces coalescence much easier because of the low hydrodynamic resistance to drainage of the thin liquid film separating the colliding bubbles. In this opinion we highlight recent experimental and numerical simulations demonstrating that in addition to the expected faster coalescence, mobile-surface bubbles can produce a much stronger rebound from a mobile liquid interface compared to an immobile one. The stronger rebound is explained by the lower viscous dissipation during collisions involving mobile surfaces. The role of the surface mobility in controlling the stability of gas or liquid emulsion should be reassessed in the light of these new findings.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101540
JournalCurrent Opinion in Colloid & Interface Science
StatePublished - Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-11-25
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): URF/1/3723-01-01
Acknowledgements: The work was supported by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) under grant URF/1/3723-01-01.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces and Interfaces


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