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.
- EC Grant Agreement nr.: FP7/235873