, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 43-52
Date: 24 May 2010

Optohydrodynamics of soft fluid interfaces: Optical and viscous nonlinear effects

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Recent experimental developments showed that the use of the radiation pressure, induced by a continuous laser wave, to control fluid-fluid interface deformations at the microscale, represents a very promising alternative to electric or magnetic actuation. In this article, we solve numerically the dynamics and steady state of the fluid interface under the effects of buoyancy, capillarity, optical radiation pressure and viscous stress. A precise quantitative validation is shown by comparison with experimental data. New results due to the nonlinear dependence of the optical pressure on the angle of incidence are presented, showing different morphologies of the deformed interface going from needle-like to finger-like shapes, depending on the refractive index contrast. In the transient regime, we show that the viscosity ratio influences the time taken for the deformation to reach steady state.