Here we describe our new high-precision instrument that simultaneously measures the surface tension, viscosity, and surface viscoelasticity of liquids. The instrument works on the ripplon surface-laser light scattering principle and operates with an automatically tunable selection of ripplon wavelength from 4 to 1500 μ m, which corresponds to the frequency range of observing surface phenomena from approximately 400 Hz to 3 MHz in the case of water. The heterodyne technique instrument uses a reference laser beam which intersects at an arbitrarily adjustable angle with a vertically directed probing beam. For the determination of the wavelength of selected ripplons we substituted with the interference fringe spacing, measured using a high-resolution beam profiler. To extract reliable surface tension and viscosity data from the experimentally obtained spectrum shape for a selected wavelength of ripplon, we developed an algorithm to calculate the exact solution of the dispersion equation. The uncertainties of surface tension and viscosity measurement were confirmed through the measurement of seven pure Newtonian liquids at 25°C measured with the selected wavelength of ripplon from 40 μ m to 467 μ m. To verify the genuine capability of the tunable wavelength selection of ripplon, we measured the surface elasticity of soluble surface molecular layers spread on pentanoic acid solutions.
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