Research proves nanobubbles are superstable

Apr 24, 2014 by Martine Van Hillegersberg

The intense research interest in surface nanobubbles arises from their potential applications in microfluidics and the scientific challenge for controlling their fundamental physical properties. One of the most pronounced features of surface nanobubbles is their very long lifetime for their tiny size. Four researchers from the University of Twente's MESA+ research institute have recently proven that the stability of nanobubbles is so high they remain stable even at the boiling point of water, triggering microdroplet nucleation. The researchers published their unique findings on nanobubble stability in Physical Review Letters.

Whenever solids that do not easily dissolve in water come into contact with water, nanobubbles often form at the point the two phases come into contact with each other. Nanobubbles have a lifetime far longer than what one would expect. The MESA+ research has proven that nanobubbles are even able to withstand a temperature increase to temperatures close to the of water. When the vapour-liquid contact line passes a nanobubble, a liquid film remains around it, which, after pinch-off, results in a microdroplet in which the nanobubbles continue to exist. Finally, the microdroplet evaporates and the nanobubble consequently bursts. Professor Detlef Lohse: "Our results support that pinning the contact line plays a crucial role in nanobubble stability. We have demonstrated the unique role of nanoscale gaseous domains in boiling events for the first time."

The research by the Physics of Fluids department is a starting point for studying the impact of nanoscale fluidic domains on the motion of the receding three-phase line and for understanding the phase transition initiated by nanobubbles.

The article 'Surface Nanobubbles Nucleate Microdoplets' by Xuehua Zhang, Henri Lhuissier, Chao Sun and Detlef Lohse was published in Physical Review Letters, (April 2014).

Explore further: Vapor nanobubbles rapidly detect malaria through the skin

More information: 'Surface Nanobubbles Nucleate Microdoplets' by Xuehua Zhang, Henri Lhuissier, Chao Sun and Detlef Lohse is available online: stilton.tnw.utwente.nl/people/… s/2014-Zhang-prl.pdf

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Mysterious nanobubble burst?

Dec 02, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- The nanobubbles that develop on submerged surfaces should not really be able to exist. Because of the enormous internal pressure, they should disappear within a short time. Nevertheless, they ...

Vapor nanobubbles rapidly detect malaria through the skin

Dec 31, 2013

(Medical Xpress)—Rice University researchers have developed a noninvasive technology that accurately detects low levels of malaria infection through the skin in seconds with a laser scanner. The "vapor ...

'Nanobubbles' kill cancer cells

Feb 04, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Using lasers and nanoparticles, scientists at Rice University have discovered a new technique for singling out individual diseased cells and destroying them with tiny explosions. The scientists used lasers ...

Recommended for you

Protons fuel graphene prospects

Nov 26, 2014

Graphene, impermeable to all gases and liquids, can easily allow protons to pass through it, University of Manchester researchers have found.

Cooling with the coldest matter in the world

Nov 24, 2014

Physicists at the University of Basel have developed a new cooling technique for mechanical quantum systems. Using an ultracold atomic gas, the vibrations of a membrane were cooled down to less than 1 degree ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.