We investigate the stabilizing effect of insoluble surfactant monolayers on thin aqueous films. We first describe an experimental platform that enables the formation of aqueous films laden with dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) monolayers on curved silicone hydrogel (SiHy) substrates. We show that these surfactant layers extend the lifetime of the aqueous films. The films eventually "dewet" by the nucleation and growth of dry areas and the onset of this dewetting can be controlled by the surface rheology of the DPPC layer. We thus demonstrate that increasing the interfacial rheology of the DPPC layer leads to stable films that delay dewetting. We also show that dewetting can be exploited to controllably pattern the underlying curved SiHy substrates with DPPC layers.
Bhamla, M. S., Balemans, C., & Fuller, G. G. (2015). Dewetting and deposition of thin films with insoluble surfactants from curved silicone hydrogel substrates. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 449, 428-435. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcis.2015.01.002