Dynamical fluctuations of droplet microemulsions and vesicles

Scott Thomas Milner, S. A. Safran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

524 Scopus citations


The hydrodynamic fluctuations of nearly spherical vesicles and microemulsion droplets are considered. The incompressibility of the enclosed fluid and surfactant or lipid layer imposes a constraint of constant droplet volume and area on the fluctuations. These overdamped modes, driven by bending energy and damped by viscosity of the surrounding fluids, change the shape of the surface and may scatter neutrons or light. A dynamical structure factor S(q,t) is computed and a first frequency moment at fixed wave number char(q) obtained. In the limit of a stiff droplet at fixed excess area a new mode is obtained an overdamped oscillation among ellipsoidal shapes about the minimum-energy (usually prolate) shape. Prospects for observing this fluctuation are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4371-4379
Number of pages9
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jan 1 1987

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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