Monitoring the thinning dynamics of soap films by phase shift interferometry. The case of perfluoropolyether surfactants

  • Cecilia M. C. Gambi
  • Maurizio Vannoni
  • Andrea Sordini
  • Giuseppe Molesini
Regular Article


An interferometric method to monitor the thinning process of vertical soap films from a water solution of surfactant materials is reported. Raw data maps of optical path difference introduced by the film are obtained by conventional phase shift interferometry. Off-line re-processing of such raw data taking into account the layered structure of soap films leads to an accurate measurement of the geometrical thickness. As an example of data acquisition and processing, the measuring chain is demonstrated on perfluoropolyether surfactants; the section profile of vertical films is monitored from drawing to black film state, and quantitative data on the dynamics of the thinning process are presented. The interferometric method proves effective to the task, and lends itself to further investigate the physical properties of soap films.

Graphical abstract


Flowing Matter: Liquids and Complex Fluids 

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© EDP Sciences, SIF, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cecilia M. C. Gambi
    • 1
  • Maurizio Vannoni
    • 2
    • 3
  • Andrea Sordini
    • 3
  • Giuseppe Molesini
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physics and CNISMUniversity of FlorenceSesto Fiorentino (FI)Italy
  2. 2.Albert-Einstein-Ring 19European XFEL GmbHHamburgGermany
  3. 3.CNR-Istituto Nazionale di OtticaFlorenceItaly

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