Knudsen Gas Provides Nanobubble Stability

James Richard Thorley Seddon, Henricus J.W. Zandvliet, Detlef Lohse

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We provide a model for the remarkable stability of surface nanobubbles to bulk dissolution. The key to the solution is that the gas in a nanobubble is of Knudsen type. This leads to the generation of a bulk liquid flow which effectively forces the diffusive gas to remain local. Our model predicts the presence of a vertical water jet immediately above a nanobubble, with an estimated speed of ∼3.3  m/s, in good agreement with our experimental atomic force microscopy measurement of ∼2.7  m/s. In addition, our model also predicts an upper bound for the size of nanobubbles, which is consistent with the available experimental data.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)116101-1-116101-4
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • EC Grant Agreement nr.: FP7/235873
  • METIS-278049
  • IR-78754

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