Christopher, Gordon F
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Physics and Astronomy;
Recent measurements have implied a distribution of interfacially adsorbed particles' contact angles; however, it has been impossible to measure statistically significant numbers for these contact angles noninvasively in situ. Using a new microscopy method that allows nanometer-scale resolution of particle's 3D positions on an interface, we have measured the contact angles for thousands of latex particles at an oil/water interface. Furthermore, these measurements are dynamic, allowing the observation of the particle contact angle with high temporal resolution, resulting in hundreds of thousands of individual contact angle measurements. The contact angle has been found to fit a normal distribution with a standard deviation of 19.3°, which is much larger than previously recorded. Furthermore, the technique used allows the effect of measurement error, constrained interfacial diffusion, and particle property variation on the contact angle distribution to be individually evaluated. Because of the ability to measure the contact angle noninvasively, the results provide previously unobtainable, unique data on the dynamics and distribution of the adsorbed particles' contact angle.