Origin of stratification in creaming emulsions

Daniel M. Mueth, John C. Crocker, Sergei E. Esipov, David G. Grier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Colloidal suspensions aging under gravity have long been known to spontaneously separate into layers. We demonstrate through flow visualization experiments that a lateral temperature gradient as small as 10 mK/cm can be responsible for such stratification and that strata correspond to a stack of convection rolls. A linear stability analysis suggests that the onset of stratification results from a convective instability peculiar to fluids with inhomogeneous mass densities subjected to lateral thermal gradients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)578-581
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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    Mueth, D. M., Crocker, J. C., Esipov, S. E., & Grier, D. G. (1996). Origin of stratification in creaming emulsions. Physical Review Letters, 77(3), 578-581. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.77.578