Heterogeneous Dynamics of Sheared Particle-Laden Fluid Interfaces with Janus Particle Doping

Yiming Qiao, Zhengyang Liu, Xiaolei Ma, Nathan C. Keim, Xiang Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The formation of particle clusters can substantially modify the dynamics and mechanical properties of suspensions in both two and three dimensions. While it has been well established that large network-spanning clusters increase the rigidity of particle systems, it is still unclear how the presence of localized nonpercolating clusters affects the dynamics and mechanical properties of particle suspensions. Here, we introduce self-assembled localized particle clusters at a fluid-fluid interface by mixing a fraction of Janus particles in a monolayer of homogeneous colloids. Each Janus particle binds to a few nearby homogeneous colloids, resulting in numerous small clusters uniformly distributed across the interface. Using a custom magnetic rod interfacial stress rheometer, we apply linear oscillatory shear to the particle-laden fluid interface. By analyzing the local affine deformation of particles from optical microscopy, we show that particles in localized clusters experience substantially lower shear-induced stretching than their neighbors outside clusters. We hypothesize that such heterogeneous dynamics induced by particle clusters increase the effective surface coverage of particles, which in turn enhances the shear moduli of the interface, as confirmed by direct interfacial rheological measurements. Our study illustrates the microscopic dynamics of small clusters in a shear flow and reveals their profound effects on the macroscopic rheology of particle-laden fluid interfaces. Our findings open an avenue for designing interfacial materials with improved mechanical properties via the control of formation of localized particle clusters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12032-12040
Number of pages9
Issue number34
StatePublished - Aug 29 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry

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