Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors



Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Engineers whip up the first long-lived nanoscale bubbles

Micrometer-size bubble covered with approximately 50 nm hexagons

Credit: Courtesy of the Howard Stone Lab/Science Magazine

Usage Restrictions: Copyright Science Magazine
Micrometer-size bubble covered with approximately 50 nm hexagons
Credit: Courtesy of the Howard Stone Lab/Science Magazine
Usage Restrictions: Copyright Science Magazine

Abstract:
Discovery could significantly extend the lifetimes of common gas-liquid products

Engineers whip up the first long-lived nanoscale bubbles

Cambridge, MA | Posted on May 30th, 2008

With the aid of kitchen mixers, engineers at Harvard's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have whipped up, for the first time, permanent nanoscale bubbles - bubbles that endure for more than a year - from batches of foam made from a mixture of glucose syrup, sucrose stearate, and water. Their study appears in the May 30 issue of the journal Science.

The research, led by Howard A. Stone, had its origins in a conference talk on foams delivered by Dr. Rodney Bee, a retired Unilever physical chemist, in 2005. Bee, who had been researching ice cream for the food, beverage, and personal-care product company, was interested in finding ways to extend the life of foams and other gas-infused mixtures like ice cream. He had produced an unusual bubble formation in the course of his research, and he included a photograph of it in the presentation.

Stone, Vicky Joseph Professor of Engineering and Applied Mathematics and associate dean for applied physical sciences and engineering, was in the audience when Bee projected an image of a micrometer-size bubble with a distinctive polygonal geometry. The bubble surface appeared to be faceted with regular pentagonal, hexagonal, and heptagonal domains that intersected to form a soccer ball-like structure. None of the faces spanned more than 50 nanometers.

"Small bubbles on that scale never last because of surface tension - they instantly disappear. What Rodney showed on that screen was extraordinary," said Stone. "It was impossible; we all thought it was impossible."

Smaller bubbles have a greater surface tension and a higher gas pressure than larger ones. As a result, larger bubbles usually grow at the expense of smaller ones, which have very short lifetimes.

"I asked him how he created his foams, and he said he used an ordinary kitchen mixer. The next day I went out and bought a kitchen mixer for the lab," explained Stone.

The experimental study, conducted by SEAS graduate student Emilie Dressaire in collaboration with Unilever colleagues, revealed that when the bubbles were covered with the chosen surfactant mixture, the surfactant molecules crystallized to form nearly impermeable shells over the bubble surfaces.

The resulting shells possessed an elasticity that allowed them to buckle over time into a remarkably regular and stable pattern. Measurements of the microbubbles' stability extended over more than a year, and the structural integrity of the bubbles held for the entire period.

The authors note that future applications of these microbubbles could significantly extend the lifetimes of common gas-liquid products that experience rapid disintegration, such as aerated personal-care products and contrast agents for ultrasound imaging.

Stone's co-authors are Dressaire and David C. Bell from SEAS and Bee and Alex Lips from Unilever Research and Development. The research was funded by Unilever.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Michael Patrick Rutter

617-496-3815

Copyright © Harvard University

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

New synthesis method may shape future of nanostructures, clean energy: Findings advance efficient solar spliting of water into hydrogen fuel September 2nd, 2014

Accounting for Biological Aggregation in Heating and Imaging of Magnetic Nanoparticles September 2nd, 2014

Engineers develop new sensor to detect tiny individual nanoparticles September 2nd, 2014

Future solar panels September 2nd, 2014

Discoveries

Secure Computing for the ‘Everyman': Quantum computing goes to market in tech transfer agreement with Allied Minds September 2nd, 2014

Cool Calculations for Cold Atoms: New theory of universal three-body encounters September 2nd, 2014

UO-Berkeley Lab unveil new nano-sized synthetic scaffolding technique: Oil-and-water approach from Richmond's UO lab to spark new line of versatile peptoid nanosheets September 2nd, 2014

Future solar panels September 2nd, 2014

Announcements

New synthesis method may shape future of nanostructures, clean energy: Findings advance efficient solar spliting of water into hydrogen fuel September 2nd, 2014

Accounting for Biological Aggregation in Heating and Imaging of Magnetic Nanoparticles September 2nd, 2014

Engineers develop new sensor to detect tiny individual nanoparticles September 2nd, 2014

Future solar panels September 2nd, 2014

Food/Agriculture/Supplements

Iran Unveils 5 Home-Made Knowledge-Based Products August 25th, 2014

Nanotechnology Helps Production of Super Adsorbent Polymers August 21st, 2014

Success in Intracellular Imaging of Cesium Distribution in Plants Used for Cesium Absorption August 19th, 2014

AQUANOVA receives Technology Leadership Award 2014 FROST & SULLIVAN honors NovaSOL® Technology again August 12th, 2014

Personal Care

Sunblock poses potential hazard to sea life August 20th, 2014

AQUANOVA receives Technology Leadership Award 2014 FROST & SULLIVAN honors NovaSOL® Technology again August 12th, 2014

Nanotechnology used in sunscreens: a Mexican achievement May 14th, 2014

Production of Nanocapsule from Sea-Buckthorn Extract in Iran May 3rd, 2014

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More














ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE