Dynamic Equilibrium Mechanism for Surface Nanobubble Stabilization

Michael P. Brenner, Detlef Lohse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

276 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


Recent experiments have convincingly demonstrated the existence of surface nanobubbles on submerged hydrophobic surfaces. However, classical theory dictates that small gaseous bubbles quickly dissolve because their large Laplace pressure causes a diffusive outflux of gas. Here we suggest that the bubbles are stabilized by a continuous influx of gas near the contact line, due to the gas attraction towards hydrophobic walls [Dammer and Lohse, Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 206101 (2006); Zhang et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 98, 136101 (2007); Mezger et al., J. Chem. Phys. 128, 244705 (2008)]. This influx balances the outflux and allows for a metastable equilibrium, which, however, vanishes in thermodynamic equilibrium. Our theory predicts the equilibrium radius of the surface nanobubbles, as well as the threshold for surface nanobubble formation as a function of hydrophobicity and gas concentration.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)214505-1-214505-4
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • METIS-251279
  • IR-61200

Cite this