Growth and Detachment of Oxygen Bubbles Induced by Gold-Catalyzed Decomposition of Hydrogen Peroxide

Pengyu Lv, Hai Le The, Jan Eijkel, Albert van den Berg, Xuehua Zhang*, Detlef Lohse

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)
341 Downloads (Pure)


Whereas bubble growth out of gas-oversatured solutions has been quite well understood, including the formation and stability of surface nanobubbles, this is not the case for bubbles forming on catalytic surfaces due to catalytic reactions, though it has important implications for gas evolution reactions and self-propulsion of micro/nanomotors fueled by bubble release. In this work we have filled this gap by experimentally and theoretically examining the growth and detachment dynamics of oxygen bubbles from hydrogen peroxide decomposition catalyzed by gold. We measured the bubble radius R(t) as a function of time by confocal microscopy and find R(t) ∝ t1/2. This diffusive growth behavior demonstrates that the bubbles grow from an oxygen-oversaturated environment. For several consecutive bubbles detaching from the same position in a short period of time, a well-repeated growing behavior is obtained from which we conclude the absence of noticeable depletion effect of oxygen from previous bubbles or increasing oversaturation from the gas production. In contrast, for two bubbles far apart either in space or in time, substantial discrepancies in their growth rates are observed, which we attribute to the variation in the local gas oversaturation. The current results show that the dynamical evolution of bubbles is influenced by comprehensive effects combining chemical catalysis and physical mass transfer. Finally, we find that the size of the bubbles at the moment of detachment is determined by the balance between buoyancy and surface tension and by the detailed geometry at the bubble's contact line. (Chemical Equation Presented).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20769-20776
Number of pages8
JournalThe Journal of physical chemistry C
Issue number38
Publication statusPublished - 28 Sept 2017


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