A microscopic view of the yielding transition in concentrated emulsions

E. D. Knowlton, D. J. Pine, L. Cipelletti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We use a custom shear cell coupled to an optical microscope to investigate at the particle level the yielding transition in concentrated emulsions subjected to an oscillatory shear deformation. By performing experiments lasting thousands of cycles on samples at several volume fractions and for a variety of applied strain amplitudes, we obtain a comprehensive, microscopic picture of the yielding transition. We find that irreversible particle motion sharply increases beyond a volume-fraction dependent critical strain, which is found to be in close agreement with the strain beyond which the stress-strain relation probed in rheology experiments significantly departs from linearity. The shear-induced dynamics are very heterogenous: quiescent particles coexist with two distinct populations of mobile and 'supermobile' particles. Dynamic activity exhibits spatial and temporal correlations, with rearrangements events organized in bursts of motion affecting localized regions of the sample. Analogies with other sheared soft materials and with recent work on the transition to irreversibility in sheared complex fluids are briefly discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6931-6940
Number of pages10
JournalSoft Matter
Volume10
Issue number36
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 28 2014

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Emulsions
emulsions
shear
Volume fraction
particle motion
optical microscopes
rheology
linearity
bursts
Rheology
Shear deformation
cycles
Microscopes
fluids
Experiments
cells
Fluids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics

Cite this

A microscopic view of the yielding transition in concentrated emulsions. / Knowlton, E. D.; Pine, D. J.; Cipelletti, L.

In: Soft Matter, Vol. 10, No. 36, 28.09.2014, p. 6931-6940.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Knowlton, E. D. ; Pine, D. J. ; Cipelletti, L. / A microscopic view of the yielding transition in concentrated emulsions. In: Soft Matter. 2014 ; Vol. 10, No. 36. pp. 6931-6940.
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