Thermodynamically consistent description of the hydrodynamics of free surfaces covered by insoluble surfactants of high concentration

2013-05-20T11:52:56Z (GMT) by Uwe Thiele Andrew Archer Mathis Plapp
In this paper, we propose several models that describe the dynamics of liquid films which are covered by a high concentration layer of insoluble surfactant. First, we briefly review the “classical” hydrodynamic form of the coupled evolution equations for the film height and surfactant concentration that are well established for small concentrations. Then we re-formulate the basic model as a gradient dynamics based on an underlying free energy functional that accounts for wettability and capillarity. Based on this re-formulation in the framework of nonequilibrium thermodynamics, we propose extensions of the basic hydrodynamic model that account for (i) nonlinear equations of state, (ii) surfactant-dependent wettability, (iii) surfactant phase transitions, and (iv) substrate-mediated condensation. In passing, we discuss important differences to most of the models found in the literature.