Surface nanobubbles and micropancakes are two recent discoveries in interfacial physics. They are nanoscopic gaseous domains that form at the solid/liquid interface. The fundamental interest focuses on the fact that they are surprisingly stable to dissolution, lasting for at least 10–11 orders of magnitude longer than the classical expectation. So far, many articles have been published that describe various different nucleation methods and 'ideal' systems and experimental techniques for nanobubble research, and we are now at the stage where we can begin to investigate the fundamental questions in detail. In this topical review, we summarize the current state of research in the field and give an overview of the partial answers that have been proposed or that can be inferred to date. We relate nanobubbles and micropancakes, and we try to build a framework within which nucleation may be understood. We also discuss evidence for and against different aspects of nanobubble stability, as well as suggesting what still needs to be done to obtain a full understanding.
- EC Grant Agreement nr.: FP7/235873