Theoretical analysis for the optical deformation of emulsion droplets

Tapp, D., Taylor, J. M. , Lubansky, A. S., Bain, C. D. and Chakrabarti, B. (2014) Theoretical analysis for the optical deformation of emulsion droplets. Optics Express, 22(4), pp. 4523-4538. (doi:10.1364/OE.22.004523)

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We propose a theoretical framework to predict the three-dimensional shapes of optically deformed micron-sized emulsion droplets with ultra-low interfacial tension. The resulting shape and size of the droplet arises out of a balance between the interfacial tension and optical forces. Using an approximation of the laser field as a Gaussian beam, working within the Rayleigh-Gans regime and assuming isotropic surface energy at the oil-water interface, we numerically solve the resulting shape equations to elucidate the three-dimensional droplet geometry. We obtain a plethora of shapes as a function of the number of optical tweezers, their laser powers and positions, surface tension, initial droplet size and geometry. Experimentally, two-dimensional droplet silhouettes have been imaged from above, but their full side-on view has not been observed and reported for current optical configurations. This experimental limitation points to ambiguity in differentiating between droplets having the same two-dimensional projection but with disparate three-dimensional shapes. Our model elucidates and quantifies this difference for the first time. We also provide a dimensionless number that indicates the shape transformation (ellipsoidal to dumbbell) at a value ≈ 1.0, obtained by balancing interfacial tension and laser forces, substantiated using a data collapse.

Item Type:Articles (Letter)
Additional Information:This paper was published in Optics Express and is made available as an electronic reprint with the permission of OSA. The paper can be found at the following URL on the OSA website: Systematic or multiple reproduction or distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means is prohibited and is subject to penalties under law.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Taylor, Dr Jonathan
Authors: Tapp, D., Taylor, J. M., Lubansky, A. S., Bain, C. D., and Chakrabarti, B.
Subjects:Q Science > QC Physics
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Physics and Astronomy
Research Group:Imaging Concepts
Journal Name:Optics Express
Journal Abbr.:Opt. Express
Publisher:Optical Society of America
ISSN (Online):1094-4087
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 Optical Society of America
First Published:First published in Optics Express 22(4):4523-4538
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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