laboratoire de physique statistique
laboratoire de physique statistique




Inverse Leidenfrost Effect: Levitating Drops on Liquid Nitrogen - Adda-Bedia, M. and Kumar, S. and Lechenault, F. and Moulinet, S. and Schillaci, M. and Vella, D.
LANGMUIR 324179-4188 (2016)

Abstract : We explore the interaction between a liquid drop (initially at room temperature) and a bath of liquid nitrogen. In this scenario, heat transfer occurs through film-boiling: a nitrogen vapor layer develops that may cause the drop to levitate at the bath surface. We report the phenomenology of this inverse Leidenfrost effect, investigating the effect of the drop size and density by using an aqueous solution of a tungsten salt to vary the drop density. We find that (depending on its size and density) a drop either levitates or instantaneously sinks into the bulk nitrogen. We begin by measuring the duration of the levitation as a function of the radius R and density rho(d) of the liquid drop. We find that the levitation time increases roughly linearly with drop radius but depends weakly on the drop density. However, for sufficiently large drops, R >= R-c(rho(d)), the drop sinks instantaneously; levitation does not occur. This sinking of a (relatively) hot droplet induces film-boiling, releasing a stream of vapor bubbles for a well-defined length of time. We study the duration of this immersed-drop bubbling finding similar scalings (but with different prefactors) to the levitating drop case. With these observations, we study the physical factors limiting the levitation and immersed-film-boiling times, proposing a simple model that explains the scalings observed for the duration of these phenomena, as well as the boundary of (R,rho(d)) parameter space that separates them.
AFM Investigation of Liquid-Filled Polymer Microcapsules Elasticity - Sarrazin, Baptiste and Tsapis, Nicolas and Mousnier, Ludivine and Taulier, Nicolas and Urbach, Wladimir and Guenoun, Patrick
LANGMUIR 324610-4618 (2016)

Abstract : Elasticity of polymer microcapsules (MCs) filled with a liquid fluorinated core is studied by atomic force microscopy (AFM). Accurately characterized spherical tips are employed to obtain the Young's moduli of MCs having four different shell thicknesses. We show that those moduli are effective ones because the samples are composites. The strong decrease of the effective MC elasticity (from 3.0 to 0.1 GPa) as the shell thickness decreases (from 200 to 10 nm) is analyzed using a novel numerical approach. This model describes the evolution of the elasticity of a coated half-space according to the contact radius, the thickness of the film, and the elastic moduli of bulk materials. This numerical model is consistent with the experimental data and allows simulating the elastic behavior of MCs at high frequencies (5 MHz). While the quasi-static elasticity of the MCs is found to be very dependent on the shell thickness, the high frequency (5 MHz) elastic behavior of the core leads to a stable behavior of the MCs (from 2.5 to 3 GPa according to the shell thickness). Finally, the effect of thermal annealing on the MCs elasticity is investigated. The Young's modulus is found to decrease because of the reduction of the shell thickness due to the loss of the polymer.
Characterization of a Biomimetic Mesophase Composed of Nonionic Surfactants and an Aqueous Solvent - Adrien, V. and Rayan, G. and Reffay, M. and Porcar, L. and Maldonado, A. and Ducruix, A. and Urbach, W. and Taulier, N.
LANGMUIR 3210268-10275 (2016)

Abstract : We have investigated the physical and biomimetic properties of a sponge (L3) phase composed of pentaethylene glycol monododecyl ether (C12E5), a nonionic surfactant, an aqueous solvent, and a cosurfactant. The following cosurfactants, commonly used for solubilizing membrane proteins, were incorporated: n-octyl-beta-d-glucopyranoside (beta-OG), n-dodecyl-beta-d-maltopyranoside (DDM), 4-cyclohexyl-1-butyl-beta-d-maltoside (CYMAL-4), and 5-cyclohexyl-1-pentyl-beta-d-maltoside (CYMAL-5). Partial phase diagrams of these systems were created. The L3 phase was characterized using crossed polarizers, diffusion of a fluorescent probe by fluorescence recovery after pattern photobleaching (FRAPP), and freeze fracture electron microscopy (FFEM). By varying the hydration of the phase, we were able to tune the distance between adjacent bilayers. The characteristic distance (db) of the phase was obtained from small angle scattering (SAXS/SANS) as well as from FFEM, which yielded complementary db values. These db values were neither affected by the nature of the cosurfactant nor by the addition of membrane proteins. These findings illustrate that a biomimetic surfactant sponge phase can be created in the presence of several common membrane protein-solubilizing detergents, thus making it a versatile medium for membrane protein studies.
Stability of C12Ej Bilayers Probed with Adhesive Droplets - Astafyeva, Ksenia and Urbach, Wladimir and Garroum, Nabil and Taulier, Nicolas and Thiam, Abdou R.
LANGMUIR 316791-6796 (2015)

Abstract : The stability of model surfactant bilayers from the poly(ethylene glycol) mono-n-dodecyl ether (C12Ej) family was probed. The surfactant bilayers were formed by the adhesion of emulsion droplets. We generated C12Ej bilayers by forming water-in-oil (w/o) emulsions with saline water droplets, covered by the surfactant, in a silicone and octane oil mixture. Using microfluidics, we studied the stability of those bilayers. C12E1 allowed only short-lived bilayers whereas C12E2 bilayers were stable over a wide range of oil mixtures. At high C12E2 concentration, a two-phase region was displayed in the phase diagram: bilayers formed by the adhesion of two water droplets and Janus-like particles consisting of adhering aqueous and amphiphilic droplets. C12E8 and C12E25 did not mediate bilayer formation and caused phase inversion leading to o/w emulsion. With intermediate C12E4 and C12E5 surfactants, both w/o and o/w emulsions were unstable. We provided the titration of the C12E2 bilayer with C12E4 and C12E5 to study and predict their stability behavior.
Formation of Giant Unilamellar Proteo-Liposomes by Osmotic Shock - Motta, Isabelle and Gohlke, Andrea and Adrien, Vladimir and Li, Feng and Gardavot, Helene and Rothman, James E. and Pincet, Frederic
LANGMUIR 317091-7099 (2015)

Abstract : Giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs), composed of a phospholipid bilayer, are often used as a model system for cell membranes. However, the study of proteo-membrane interactions in this system is limited as the incorporation of integral and lipid-anchored proteins into GUVs remains challenging. Here, we present a simple generic method to incorporate proteins into GUVs. The basic principle is to break proteo-liposomes with an osmotic shock. They subsequently reseal into larger vesicles which, if necessary, can endure the same to obtain even larger proteo-GUVs. This process does not require specific lipids or reagents, works under physiological conditions with high concentrations of protein, the proteins remains functional after incorporation. The resulting proteo-GUVs can be micromanipulated. Moreover, our protocol is valid for a wide range of protein substrates. We have successfully reconstituted three structurally different proteins, two trans-membrane proteins (To1C and the neuronal t-SNARE), and one lipid-anchored peripheral protein (GABARAP-Like 1 (GL1)). In each case, we verified that the protein remains active after incorporation and in its correctly folded state. We also measured their mobility by performing diffusion measurements via fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) experiments on micromanipulated single GUVs. The diffusion coefficients are in agreement with previous data.
Thermally Activated Wetting Dynamics in the Presence of Surface Roughness - Davitt, Kristina and Pettersen, Michael S. and Rolley, Etienne
LANGMUIR 296884-6894 (2013)

Abstract : From simple models of thermally activated contact line dynamics far below the depinning transition, one expects the velocity to depend exponentially on the applied force and the activation area to be the size of the defects on the surface. We study contact line motion on evaporated gold films and find that the dynamics are activated, but the activation area is not straightforwardly linked to the surface roughness. Surprisingly, the activation area can be significantly smaller than any features on the surface. Furthermore, it depends strongly on the liquid. We show that this indicates that the line is close to the depinning threshold at experimentally accessible velocities. A model based on independent defects is developed and used to show deviations from the purely exponential law. The dynamics are written entirely in terms of properties of the surface and partially wetting liquid. In addition, we are able to show that the region of validity of models of thermal activation on mesoscopically rough surfaces typically corresponds to velocities of less than 1 mm/s.
Detection and Quantification through a Lipid Membrane Using the Molecularly Controlled Semiconductor Resistor - Bavli, Danny and Tkachev, Maria and Piwonski, Hubert and Capua, Eyal and de Albuquerque, Ian and Bensimon, David and Haran, Gilad and Naaman, Ron
LANGMUIR 281020-1028 (2012)

Abstract : The detection of covalent and noncovalent binding events between molecules and biomembranes is a fundamental goal of contemporary biochemistry and analytical chemistry. Currently, such studies are performed routinely using fluorescence methods, surface-plasmon resonance spectroscopy, and electrochemical methods. However, there is still a need for novel sensitive miniaturizable detection methods where the sample does not have to be transferred to the sensor, but the sensor can be brought into contact with the sample studied. We present a novel approach for detection and quantification of processes occurring on the surface of a lipid bilayer membrane, by monitoring the current change through the n-type GaAs-based molecularly controlled semiconductor resistor (MOCSER), on which the membrane is adsorbed. Since GaAs is susceptible to etching in an aqueous environment, a protective thin film of methoxysilane was deposited on the device. The system was found to be sensitive enough to allow monitoring changes in pH and in the concentration of amino acids in aqueous solution on top of the membrane. When biotinylated lipids were incorporated into the membrane, it was possible to monitor the binding of streptavidin or avidin. The device modified with biotin-streptavidin complex was capable of detecting the binding of streptavidin antibodies to immobilized streptavidin with high sensitivity and selectivity. The response depends on the charge on the analyte. These results open the way to facile electrical detection of protein membrane interactions.
What Is the Mechanism of Soap Film Entrainment? - Saulnier, Laurie and Restagno, Frederic and Delacotte, Jerome and Langevin, Dominique and Rio, Emmanuelle
LANGMUIR 2713406-13409 (2011)

Abstract : Classical Frankel's law describes the formation of soap films and their evolution upon pulling, a model situation of film dynamics in foams (formation, rheology, and destabilization). With the purpose of relating film pulling to foam dynamics, we have built a new setup able to give an instantaneous measurement of film thickness, thus allowing us to determine film thickness profile during pulling. We found that only the lower part of the film is of uniform thickness and follows Frankel's law, provided the entrainment velocity is small. We show that this is due to confinement effects: there is not enough surfactant in the bulk to fully cover the newly created surfaces which results in immobile film surfaces. At large velocities, surfaces become mobile and then Frankel's law breaks down, leading to a faster drainage and thus to a nonstationary thickness at the bottom of the film. These findings should help in understanding the large dispersion of previous experimental data reported during the last 40 years and clarifying the pulling phenomenon of thin liquid films.
Thin Liquid Crystal Films on Liquids in the Nematic Range of Temperatures - Delabre, Ulysse and Richard, Celine and Sang, Yann Yip Cheung and Cazabat, Anne-Marie
LANGMUIR 2613368-13376 (2010)

Abstract : Hybrid nematic films deposited on liquid substrates reveal a complex behavior, which is not fully understood. Here, the behavior of the n-cyanobiphenyl series on water and glycerol has been studied in a wide temperature range, including the vicinity of the nematic isotropic (NI) transition. Wettability, allowed film thicknesses, and line tension of nematic domains have been investigated. The study provides a coherent picture of hybrid nematic films, allowing us to account for lower thickness threshold, structure of the Film edge, and line tension of domains in the whole nematic range of temperatures.
Mapping mouse gamete interaction forces reveal several oocyte membrane regions with different mechanical and adhesive properties - Jegou, Antoine and Pincet, Frederic and Perez, Eric and Wolf, Jean Philippe and Ziyyat, Ahmed and Gourier, Christine
LANGMUIR 241451-1458 (2008)

Abstract : This study focuses on the interaction involved in the adhesion of mouse gametes and on the mechanical properties of the oocyte membrane. The oocyte has an asymmetrical shape, and its membrane is composed of two distinct areas. One is rich in microvilli, and the other is smoother and without microvilli. With a biomembrane force probe (BFP) adapted to cell-cell measurements, we have quantified the separation forces between a spermatozoon and an oocyte. Microvillar and amicrovillar areas of the oocyte surface have been systematically probed and compared. In addition to a substantial difference in the elastic stiffness of these two regions, the experiments have revealed the presence of two types of membrane domains with different mechanical and adhesive properties, both distributed over the entire oocyte surface (i.e., in both microvillar and amicrovillar regions). If gamete contact occurs in the first type of domain, then the oocyte membrane deforms only elastically under traction. The pull-off forces in these domains are higher in the amicrovillar region. For a spermatozoon contact with the other type of domain, there can be a transition from the elastic to viscoelastic regime, and then tethers are extruded from the oocyte membrane.
Nematic pancakes revisited - Delabre, Ulysse and Richard, Celine and Guena, Geoffroy and Meunier, Jacques and Cazabat, Anne-Marie
LANGMUIR 243998-4006 (2008)

Abstract : The spontaneous spreading of the 5CB nematic liquid crystal on solid substrates has been extensively studied in the last years both at the microscopic(1-4) and macroscopic(5-6) scales. The remarkable feature at the microscopic scale is the presence of a discontinuity in the thickness profile of the films. On the other hand, the spreading dynamics of macroscopic drops is quite specific. The drop first spreads like a simple liquid, and then progressively faster, while a remarkable bell-shaped profile develops at the bottom.(5-6) How the behaviors at the various scales are linked is an open question. Any answer requires reconsidering these wetting experiments deeper into the context of nematic films. More specifically, the anchoring of molecules at the interfaces(7-8) and the competition between nematic elasticity(9) and anchoring 10 must be discussed quantitatively. For the thinnest films, the problem proves to be more complex than expected and contradictory data are found in the literature. Therefore, we decided to complete our previous studies with further experiments using another compound of the cyanobiphenyls series, the 6CB in the nematic phase, and also on liquid substrates, water and glycerol. These new data confirm that the description of the thinnest nematic films is not yet fully understood.
Floating objects with finite resistance to bending - Vella, Dominic
LANGMUIR 248701-8706 (2008)

Abstract : We consider the equilibrium flotation of a thin, flexible cylinder at the interface between a liquid and a gas. In particular, we determine the maximum load that such a cylinder can support without sinking. We find that as the length of such a cylinder increases the maximum load at first increases. However, the maximum load reaches a plateau when the length of the cylinder is comparable to the elastocapillary length, which is determined by a balance between the bending of the cylinder and surface tension. We then consider the implications of our analysis for the walking on water of both arthropods and man-made robots. In particular, we show that the legs of water striders are typically slightly shorter than this `optimal' length, suggesting that elastocapillary effects may act as a selection pressure.
Salt crystallization during evaporation: Impact of interfacial properties - Shahidzadeh-Bonn, Noushine and Rafai, Salima and Bonn, Daniel and Wegdam, Gerard
LANGMUIR 248599-8605 (2008)

Abstract : Salt damage in stone results in part from crystallization of salts during drying. We study the evaporation of aqueous salt solutions and the crystallization growth for sodium sulfate and sodium chloride in model situations: evaporating droplets and evaporation from square capillaries. The results show that the interfacial properties are of key importance for where and how the crystals form. The consequences for the different forms of salt crystallization observed in practice are discussed.
Hydrophobic forces and hydrogen bonds in the adhesion between retinoid-coated surfaces - Tareste, David and Pincet, Frederic and Lebeau, Luc and Perez, Eric
LANGMUIR 233225-3229 (2007)

Abstract : Interactions between hydrophobic chains of lipid monolayers and interactions between hydrophilic headgroups of lipid bilayers (with or without a molecular recognition step) are now well documented, especially for commonly used lipids. Here, we report force measurements between a new class of fluorinated lipid layers whose headgroups (synthetic ligands of retinoid receptors) display a very unusual polar/apolar character and can interact via a combination of hydrophobic forces and hydrogen bonds. Although these two interactions produce adhesion and are therefore not easily distinguishable, we show that it is possible to extract both contributions unambiguously. Experiments are performed both in pure water, where the adhesion is a combination of hydrophobic forces and hydrogen bonds, and in Tris buffer, where the hydrophobic effect is the dominant short-range attractive force. The contribution of hydrophobic forces scaled down to molecular interactions is deduced from force versus distance profiles, and the same value is found independently in pure water and Tris buffer, about 1 k(B)T. We also show that retinoid lipid layers attract each other through a very long-range (100 nm) exponential force, which is insensitive to the pH and the salinity. The origin of this long-range attraction is discussed on the basis of previously proposed mechanisms.
Preparation and characterization of particles with small differences in polydispersity - Schoepe, H. J. and Marnette, O. and van Megen, W. and Bryant, G.
LANGMUIR 2311534-11539 (2007)

Abstract : Colloidal particles are widely used both in fundamental research and in materials science. One important parameter influencing the physical properties of colloidal materials is the particle size distribution (polydispersity) of the colloidal particles. Recent work on colloidal crystallization has demonstrated that even subtle changes in polydispersity can have significant effects. In this study we present centrifugation techniques for subtly manipulating the width and the shape of the particle size distribution, for polydispersities less than 10\%. We use scanning electron microscopy as well as dynamic and static light scattering to characterize the particle size distributions. We compare the results and highlight the difficulties associated with the determination of accurate particle size distributions.
Confinement free energy of surfaces bearing end-grafted, polymers in the mushroom regime and local measurement of the polymer density - Li, Feng and Pincet, Frederic
LANGMUIR 2312541-12548 (2007)

Abstract : End-tethered polymer chains usually adopt mushroomlike structures on the surface when their density is low. The behaviors of these surface-attached hemicoils are described by existing polymer theory. Dolan and Edwards derived the free energy of a single polymer chain confined between two planar surfaces. Their theory was used to approximate the steric interaction free energy, E, of two identical surfaces bearing polymers in the mushroom regime and to compare with experimental data obtained from surface force measurements. However, because of a mislabeled plot in the original paper, experimental force profiles did not seem to fit the free energy approximation satisfactorily. We have correctly relabeled the involved plot and derived a new simple expression for E. In order to verify this expression, we have performed experiments on PEG(45) polymers incorporated in lipid bilayers using a surface force apparatus. The measured force profiles are in perfect agreement with the prediction. We show that such measurements can be used to determine the local density of grafted polymer with good precision.