Articles written in Pramana – Journal of Physics
Volume 67 Issue 1 July 2006 pp 33-46
Soft matter, like colloidal suspensions and surfactant gels, exhibit strong response to modest external perturbations. This paper reviews our recent experiments on the nonlinear flow behaviour of surfactant worm-like micellar gels. A rich dynamic behaviour exhibiting regular, quasi-periodic, intermittency and chaos is observed. In particular, we have shown experimentally that the route to chaos is via Type-II intermittency in shear thinning worm-like micellar solution of cetyltrimethylammonium tosylate where the strength of flow-concentration coupling is tuned by the addition of sodium chloride. A Poincaré first return map of the time series and the probability distribution of laminar length between burst events show that our data are consistent with Type-II intermittency. The existence of a ‘Butterfly’ intensity pattern in small angle light scattering (SALS) measurements performed simultaneously with the rheological measurements confirms the coupling of flow to concentration fluctuations in the system under study. The scattered depolarised intensity in SALS, sensitive to orientational order fluctuations, shows the same time-dependence (like intermittency) as that of shear stress.
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