Complex fluid-fluid interfaces are common to living systems, foods, personal products, and the environment. They occur wherever surface-active molecules and particles collect at fluid interfaces and render them nonlinear in their response to flow and deformation. When this occurs, the interfaces acquire a complex microstructure that must be interrogated. Interfacial rheological material properties must be measured to appreciate their role in such varied processes as lung function, cell division, and foam and emulsion stability. This review presents the methods that have been devised to determine the microstructure of complex fluid-fluid interfaces. Complex interfacial microstructure leads to rheological complexity. This behavior is often responsible for stabilizing interfacial systems such as foams and emulsions, and it can also have a profound influence on wetting/dewetting dynamics. Interfacial rheological characterization relies on the development of tools with the sensitivity to respond to small surface stresses in a way that isolates them from bulk stresses. This development is relatively recent, and reviews of methods for both shear and dilatational measurements are offered here.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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