Discrete Electrolytes Research

Liquid ionics beyond Poisson-Boltzmann

Publication year
to 2010

Publications: 2013


E. Dietrich, H.J.W. Zandvliet, D. Lohse, & J.R.T. Seddon
"Particle tracking around surface nanobubbles"
J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 25, 184009 (2013)

The exceptionally long lifetime of surface nanobubbles remains one of the biggest questions in the field. One of the proposed mechanisms for producing the stability is the dynamic equilibrium model, which describes a constant flux of gas in and out of the bubble. Here, we describe results from particle tracking experiments carried out to measure this flow. The results are analysed by measuring the Voronoi cell size distribution, the diffusion, and the speed of the tracer particles. We show that there is no detectable difference in the movement of particles above nanobubble-laden surfaces as compared to ones above nanobubble-free surfaces.


J.R.T. Seddon
"Surface nanobubbles and micropancakes"
J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 25, 180301 (2013)
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When looking at a wetted surface with a technique that can probe the nanoscale, a high surface coverage of gas bubbles is often revealed. So what? Well, if we believe in classical diffusion, these bubbles should dissolve in microseconds, but in reality they are found to remain stable for as long as anyone has observed (five days thus far, which is 10-11 orders of magnitude longer than would be expected). As well as the obvious question of why the lifetime is so long, and also the question of how the bubbles nucleate in the first place, we rapidly find ourselves asking can we use the bubbles to our benefit? A clear example would be in controlling slip in micro/nanofluidics: effectively, replacing a solid wall with a ‘gassy’ wall replaces the no-slip boundary condition with one of slip. Several other potential applications have also been suggested and nanobubbles have, in fact, already proven useful in the antifouling world.