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Curvature driven motion of a bubble in a toroidal Hele-Shaw cell

Mughal, A., Cox, S.J. and Schröder-Turk, G.E. (2017) Curvature driven motion of a bubble in a toroidal Hele-Shaw cell. Interface Focus, 7 (4). p. 20160106.

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We investigate the equilibrium properties of a single area-minimizing bubble trapped between two narrowly separated parallel curved plates. We begin with the case of a bubble trapped between concentric spherical plates. We develop a model which shows that the surface energy of the bubble is lower when confined between spherical plates than between flat plates. We confirm our findings by comparing against Surface Evolver simulations. We then derive a simple model for a bubble between arbitrarily curved parallel plates. The energy is found to be higher when the local Gaussian curvature of the plates is negative and lower when the curvature is positive. To check the validity of the model, we consider a bubble trapped between concentric tori. In the toroidal case, we find that the sensitivity of the bubble’s energy to the local curvature acts as a geometric potential capable of driving bubbles from regions with negative to positive curvature.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Information Technology
Publisher: Royal Society Publishing
Copyright: © 2017 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.
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