Collapse dynamics of smectic-A bubbles
Laboratoire de Physique de l'Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, 46 Allée d'Italie, 69364, Lyon Cedex 07, France
Accepted: 12 May 2006
Published online: 21 June 2006
The collapse dynamics of smectic-A bubbles are analyzed experimentally and theoretically. Each bubble is expanded from a flat film stretched at the end of a hollow cylinder and deflated through a pressure release by means of a capillary tube. Its total collapse time can be varied between 0.1s and 20s by suitably choosing the length and the internal diameter of the capillary. This experiment allowed us to show that the collapse takes place in two steps: an initial one, which lasts a fraction of a second, where the meniscus destabilizes and fills up with focal conics, followed by a much longer period during which the bubble collapses and exchanges material with the meniscus. By measuring simultaneously the Laplace pressure and the internal pressure inside the bubble, we were able to fully characterize the shear-thinning behavior of the smectic phase within the meniscus. We emphasize that this method is generic and could be applied as well to other systems such as soap bubbles, on condition that inertial effects are negligible.
PACS: 47.55.dd Bubble dynamics – / 83.80.Iz Emulsions and foams – / 61.30.Jf Defects in liquid crystals –
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica and Springer-Verlag, 2006