Capillary orbits

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Abstract

Millimeter-sized objects trapped at a liquid surface distort the interface by their weight, which in turn attracts them towards each other. This ubiquitous phenomenon, colloquially called the “Cheerios effect” is seen in the clumping of cereals in a breakfast bowl, and turns out to be a highly promising route towards controlled self-assembly of colloidal particles at the water surface. Here, we study capillary attraction between levitating droplets, maintained in an inverse Leidenfrost state above liquid nitrogen. We reveal that the drops spontaneously orbit around each other – mirroring a miniature celestial system. In this unique situation of negligible friction, the trajectories are solely shaped by the Cheerios-interaction potential, which we obtain directly from the droplet’s dynamics. Our findings offer an original perspective on contactless and contamination-free droplet cryopreservation processing, where the Leidenfrost effect and capillarity would be used in synergy to vitrify and transport biological samples.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3947
JournalNature communications
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sep 2019

Fingerprint

Biological Transport
Capillary Action
Breakfast
Friction
Cryopreservation
Orbit
Orbits
Nitrogen
orbits
Weights and Measures
Water
liquid surfaces
surface water
liquid nitrogen
attraction
self assembly
contamination
friction
routes
trajectories

Cite this

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title = "Capillary orbits",
abstract = "Millimeter-sized objects trapped at a liquid surface distort the interface by their weight, which in turn attracts them towards each other. This ubiquitous phenomenon, colloquially called the “Cheerios effect” is seen in the clumping of cereals in a breakfast bowl, and turns out to be a highly promising route towards controlled self-assembly of colloidal particles at the water surface. Here, we study capillary attraction between levitating droplets, maintained in an inverse Leidenfrost state above liquid nitrogen. We reveal that the drops spontaneously orbit around each other – mirroring a miniature celestial system. In this unique situation of negligible friction, the trajectories are solely shaped by the Cheerios-interaction potential, which we obtain directly from the droplet’s dynamics. Our findings offer an original perspective on contactless and contamination-free droplet cryopreservation processing, where the Leidenfrost effect and capillarity would be used in synergy to vitrify and transport biological samples.",
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Capillary orbits. / Gauthier, Anaïs; van der Meer, Devaraj; Snoeijer, Jacco H.; Lajoinie, Guillaume.

In: Nature communications, Vol. 10, No. 1, 3947, 02.09.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Capillary orbits

AU - Gauthier, Anaïs

AU - van der Meer, Devaraj

AU - Snoeijer, Jacco H.

AU - Lajoinie, Guillaume

PY - 2019/9/2

Y1 - 2019/9/2

N2 - Millimeter-sized objects trapped at a liquid surface distort the interface by their weight, which in turn attracts them towards each other. This ubiquitous phenomenon, colloquially called the “Cheerios effect” is seen in the clumping of cereals in a breakfast bowl, and turns out to be a highly promising route towards controlled self-assembly of colloidal particles at the water surface. Here, we study capillary attraction between levitating droplets, maintained in an inverse Leidenfrost state above liquid nitrogen. We reveal that the drops spontaneously orbit around each other – mirroring a miniature celestial system. In this unique situation of negligible friction, the trajectories are solely shaped by the Cheerios-interaction potential, which we obtain directly from the droplet’s dynamics. Our findings offer an original perspective on contactless and contamination-free droplet cryopreservation processing, where the Leidenfrost effect and capillarity would be used in synergy to vitrify and transport biological samples.

AB - Millimeter-sized objects trapped at a liquid surface distort the interface by their weight, which in turn attracts them towards each other. This ubiquitous phenomenon, colloquially called the “Cheerios effect” is seen in the clumping of cereals in a breakfast bowl, and turns out to be a highly promising route towards controlled self-assembly of colloidal particles at the water surface. Here, we study capillary attraction between levitating droplets, maintained in an inverse Leidenfrost state above liquid nitrogen. We reveal that the drops spontaneously orbit around each other – mirroring a miniature celestial system. In this unique situation of negligible friction, the trajectories are solely shaped by the Cheerios-interaction potential, which we obtain directly from the droplet’s dynamics. Our findings offer an original perspective on contactless and contamination-free droplet cryopreservation processing, where the Leidenfrost effect and capillarity would be used in synergy to vitrify and transport biological samples.

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