Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Shapes of Things to Come: Exotic Shapes for Liquid Drops Have Many Possible Uses

Schematic shows how the application of an electrical field transforms a spherical drop clad with nanoparticle surfactants into an ellipsoid.
Schematic shows how the application of an electrical field transforms a spherical drop clad with nanoparticle surfactants into an ellipsoid.

Abstract:
Oil and water don't mix, as any chemist or cook knows. Tom Russell, a polymer scientist from the University of Massachusetts who now holds a Visiting Faculty appointment with Berkeley Lab's Materials Sciences Division, is using that chemical and culinary truth to change the natural spherical shape of liquid drops into ellipsoids, tubes and even fibrous structures similar in appearance to glass wool. Through the combination of water, oil and nanoparticle surfactants plus an external field, Russell is able to stabilize water drops into non-equilibrium shapes that could find valuable uses as therapeutic delivery systems, biosensors, microfluidic lab-on-a-chip devices, or possibly as the basis for an all-liquid electrical battery.

Shapes of Things to Come: Exotic Shapes for Liquid Drops Have Many Possible Uses

Berkeley, CA | Posted on December 3rd, 2013

"Using the in situ formation of nanoparticle surfactants on a water drop that's been suspended in oil, we've demonstrated a simple route to produce and stabilize fluid drops having shapes far removed from their equilibrium spherical shape," says Russell.

In a study he carried out at UMass with Mengmeng Cui and Todd Emrick, a drop of water was suspended in silicone oil and carboxylated nanoparticles were added to the water. The nanoparticles self-assembled at the oil/water interface to form a sphere-shaped surfactant drop - like a soap bubble. Applying an electric field to the drop overcame the equilibrium energy that stabilizes its spherical shape and deformed the sphere into an ellipsoid.

Since an ellipsoid has a greater surface area than a sphere of the same volume, a great many more nanoparticles can attach themselves to it. When the electric field was removed, the nanoparticle drop tried to return to the spherical shape of its equilibrium energy. However, the swollen number of nanoparticles jammed together at the oil/water interface, essentially "gridlocking" the drop into a stable ellipsoid shape.

"You can think of it like traffic getting jammed at an exit ramp or particles of sand getting jammed in an hourglass," Russell says. "We start out by deforming a drop shaped like a basketball into a drop shaped like a football. The jamming effect locks in the football shape. If we continue the deforming and jamming process, we can create a wide assortment of shapes that are stable even though far removed from equilibrium."

In the original experiment, a drop of water was suspended in oil, but Russell says the experiment could just as easily have been done with a drop of oil suspended in water. He also says the shape deformation can be accomplished by mechanical stirring and that the degree of deformation is determined by the strength of the applied electrical field or how long and vigorously the liquid is stirred. While he and his colleagues never changed the volume of their drops in the original study, just the shape, Russell says the volume of the drops can be inflated with the addition of more liquids, or deflated with the removal of liquids.

"When you can control the shape of one liquid in another liquid and the shapes of the liquids are locked-in you can think about microfluidic devices-devices that are completely liquid inside the drop, or reactive liquid systems for packaging, delivery and storage," Russell says. "You can also conceive of batteries in which ions flow through water tubes. You might even make droplets that display really high shock resistance because they're basically a liquid surrounded by another liquid."

Russell was the corresponding author on a paper describing this work that was published in Science. The paper was titled "Stabilizing Liquid Drops in Nonequilibrium Shapes by the Interfacial Jamming of Nanoparticles." Cui and Emrick were the co-authors.

At Berkeley Lab, he will continue to develop these concepts with responsive nanoparticle surfactants, exploring the application of magnetic and ultrasonic fields to deform droplet shapes. He will capitalize on the resources of the Advanced Light Source, the Molecular Foundry and the National Center for Electron Microscopy, all DOE national user facilities hosted by Berkeley Lab.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Lynn Yarris
(510) 486-5375

Copyright © Berkeley Lab

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 Links

For more about the research of Tom Russell, go here:

Related News Press

News and information

Measuring the Smallest Magnets July 28th, 2014

WITec to host the 11th Confocal Raman Imaging Symposium from September 29th - October 1st in Ulm, Germany July 28th, 2014

FEI adds Phase Plate Technology and Titan Halo TEM to its Structural Biology Product Portfolio: New solutions provide the high-quality imaging and contrast necessary to analyze the 3D structure of molecules and molecular complexes July 28th, 2014

Production of Toxic Gas Sensor Based on Nanorods July 28th, 2014

Laboratories

Stanford team achieves 'holy grail' of battery design: A stable lithium anode - Engineers use carbon nanospheres to protect lithium from the reactive and expansive problems that have restricted its use as an anode July 27th, 2014

NIST shows ultrasonically propelled nanorods spin dizzyingly fast July 22nd, 2014

Sono-Tek Corporation Announces New Clean Room Rated Laboratory Facility in China July 18th, 2014

Fundamental Chemistry Findings Could Help Extend Moore’s Law: A Berkeley Lab-Intel collaboration outlines the chemistry of photoresist, enabling smaller features for future generations of microprocessors July 15th, 2014

Microfluidics/Nanofluidics

Toward a new way to keep electronics from overheating July 2nd, 2014

New particle-sorting method breaks speed records: Discovery could lead to new ways of detecting cancer cells or purifying contaminated water July 1st, 2014

Micro-manufacturing breakthrough is wired for sound June 24th, 2014

Fully automated DNA lab-on-a-chip microfluidic system wins Dolomite’s Productizing Science® competition 2013 June 10th, 2014

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Seeing is bead-lieving: Rice University scientists create model 'bead-spring' chains with tunable properties July 28th, 2014

Stanford team achieves 'holy grail' of battery design: A stable lithium anode - Engineers use carbon nanospheres to protect lithium from the reactive and expansive problems that have restricted its use as an anode July 27th, 2014

New imaging agent provides better picture of the gut July 25th, 2014

A*STAR and industry form S$200M semiconductor R&D July 25th, 2014

Discoveries

Seeing is bead-lieving: Rice University scientists create model 'bead-spring' chains with tunable properties July 28th, 2014

Measuring the Smallest Magnets July 28th, 2014

Production of Toxic Gas Sensor Based on Nanorods July 28th, 2014

Stanford team achieves 'holy grail' of battery design: A stable lithium anode - Engineers use carbon nanospheres to protect lithium from the reactive and expansive problems that have restricted its use as an anode July 27th, 2014

Materials/Metamaterials

Seeing is bead-lieving: Rice University scientists create model 'bead-spring' chains with tunable properties July 28th, 2014

Silicene Labs Announces the Launch of 2D Materials Briefing Book™ and 2D Materials Road-Heat Map™: Contributors Include One of the World's Foremost 2D Materials Scientists July 25th, 2014

Silicene Labs Announces the Launch of Patent-Pending, 2D Materials Composite Index™ : The Initial 2D Materials Composite Index™ for Q2 2014 Is: 857.3; Founders Include World-Renowned Physicist and Seasoned Business and IP Professionals July 24th, 2014

Iranian Scientists Produce Transparent Nanocomposite Coatings with Longer Lifetime July 24th, 2014

Announcements

Measuring the Smallest Magnets July 28th, 2014

WITec to host the 11th Confocal Raman Imaging Symposium from September 29th - October 1st in Ulm, Germany July 28th, 2014

FEI adds Phase Plate Technology and Titan Halo TEM to its Structural Biology Product Portfolio: New solutions provide the high-quality imaging and contrast necessary to analyze the 3D structure of molecules and molecular complexes July 28th, 2014

Production of Toxic Gas Sensor Based on Nanorods July 28th, 2014

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals

Seeing is bead-lieving: Rice University scientists create model 'bead-spring' chains with tunable properties July 28th, 2014

Production of Toxic Gas Sensor Based on Nanorods July 28th, 2014

Stanford team achieves 'holy grail' of battery design: A stable lithium anode - Engineers use carbon nanospheres to protect lithium from the reactive and expansive problems that have restricted its use as an anode July 27th, 2014

Iranian Scientists Produce Reusable Nanoadsorbent to Detect Sulfamide in Chicken July 27th, 2014

Battery Technology/Capacitors/Generators/Piezoelectrics/Thermoelectrics

Stanford team achieves 'holy grail' of battery design: A stable lithium anode - Engineers use carbon nanospheres to protect lithium from the reactive and expansive problems that have restricted its use as an anode July 27th, 2014

Nano-supercapacitors for electric cars July 25th, 2014

Compact Vibration Harvester Power Supply with Highest Efficiency Opens Door to “Fix-and-Forget” Sensor Nodes July 23rd, 2014

UCF Nanotech Spinout Developing Revolutionary Battery Technology: Power the Next Generation of Electronics with Carbon July 23rd, 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