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Dynamic Electrophoresis of a Hydrophobic and Dielectric Fluid Droplet

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-09-18, 13:07 authored by Sourav Chowdhury, Paramita Mahapatra, Hiroyuki Ohshima, Partha P. Gopmandal
Dynamic electrophoresis is the foundation for electroacoustical measurements, in which the electroacoustical signals may be used to analyze the size and electrostatic charge of colloidal entities by means of the results for dynamic electrophoretic mobility. Thus, the electrophoresis under an alternating electric field is the key foundation for electroacoustic theory. In this article, we develop a tractable analytical theory for the dynamic electrophoresis of hydrophobic and dielectric fluid droplets possessing uniform surface charge density. The tiny fluid droplets possess charged mobile surfaces and have found widespread applications in our day-to-day life. For dielectric fluid droplets (e.g., oil–water emulsions), the tangential electric stress at the interface is nonzero, which significantly affects its electrohydrodynamics under an oscillatory electric field, which has, however, a negligible impact on the electrophoretic motion of conducting droplets (e.g., mercury droplets). Besides, the micro/nanoscale fluid droplets often show hydrophobicity when they are immersed in an aqueous medium, and the impact of the electric field on hydrophobic surfaces remains a research frontier in the chemical discipline. Whereas a number of approximate expressions for electrophoretic mobility have been derived for the conducting droplet, none of them are applicable to such generic hydrophobic fluid droplets with dielectric permittivity that is significantly lower than or comparable to that of an aqueous medium. In this work, within the Debye–Hückel electrostatic framework, we elaborate an original analytical expression of dynamic electrophoretic mobility for this generic dielectric fluid droplet with a hydrophobic surface considering that the droplet retains its spherical shape during its oscillatory motion. We further derived a set of simplified expressions for dynamic electrophoretic mobility deduced under several limiting cases. The results are further illustrated, indicating the impact of pertinent parameters.

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