Coexistence and Sudden Entrapment between Two Dissimilar, Miscible Oil Lenses

The property of substrates is one of the important factors determining the interaction between two lenses (droplets). There likely exist different interactions between two dissimilar oil lenses (droplets) floating on the surface of a liquid phase from the interaction between two dissimilar oil droplets on a rigid substrate, for example, coalescence or coexistence. The interaction between two dissimilar oil lenses (droplets) is dependent on the intrinsic properties of both oil lenses (droplets) and external environmental factors. In this work, we investigate the contact interaction between two dissimilar, miscible oil lenses (toluene and silicone oil) on the surface of deionized water (DI water). The morphological evolution of two dissimilar, miscible oil lenses during the interaction under different experimental conditions is recorded and analyzed. The effects of the volume ratio of two dissimilar, miscible oil lenses, temperature of DI water, and viscosity of silicone oil on characteristic parameters are systematically studied. A sudden “entrapment” of a toluene lens into a silicone oil lens occurs after a period of the “mass exchange” (coexistence) between these two oil lenses. Several characteristic parameters, including the duration of the “mass exchange” and critical sizes of the toluene lens at the onset of the entrapment and after the entrapment, are found to be dependent on experimental conditions.