The European Physical Journal E

, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 109–117

Statics and dynamics of adhesion between two soap bubbles

Regular Article

DOI: 10.1140/epje/i2007-10219-y

Cite this article as:
Besson, S. & Debrégeas, G. Eur. Phys. J. E (2007) 24: 109. doi:10.1140/epje/i2007-10219-y


An original set-up is used to study the adhesive properties of two hemispherical soap bubbles put into contact. The contact angle at the line connecting the three films is extracted by image analysis of the bubbles profiles. After the initial contact, the angle rapidly reaches a static value slightly larger than the standard 120° angle expected from Plateau rule. This deviation is consistent with previous experimental and theoretical studies: it can be quantitatively predicted by taking into account the finite size of the Plateau border (the liquid volume trapped at the vertex) in the free energy minimization. The visco-elastic adhesion properties of the bubbles are further explored by measuring the deviation Δθd(t) of the contact angle from the static value as the distance between the two bubbles supports is sinusoidally modulated. It is found to linearly increase with Δrc/rc , where rc is the radius of the central film and Δrc the amplitude of modulation of this length induced by the displacement of the supports. The in-phase and out-of-phase components of Δθd(t) with the imposed modulation frequency are systematically probed, which reveals a transition from a viscous to an elastic response of the system with a crossover pulsation of the order 1rad · s^-1. Independent interfacial rheological measurements, obtained from an oscillating bubble experiment, allow us to develop a model of dynamic adhesion which is confronted to our experimental results. The relevance of such adhesive dynamic properties to the rheology of foams is briefly discussed using a perturbative approach to the Princen 2D model of foams.


47.55.D- Drops and Surfactant effects83.80.Iz Emulsions and foams

Copyright information

© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica and Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire de Physique StatistiqueCNRS UMR 8550Paris Cedex 05France