Surface Nanobubbles Nucleate Microdroplets

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When a hydrophobic solid is in contact with water, surface nanobubbles often form at the interface. They have a lifetime many orders of magnitude longer than expected. Here, we show that they even withstand a temperature increase to temperatures close to the boiling point of bulk water; i.e., they do not nucleate larger bubbles (“superstability”). On the contrary, when the vapor-liquid contact line passes a nanobubble, a liquid film remains around it, which, after pinch-off, results in a microdroplet in which the nanobubbles continue to exist. Finally, the microdroplet evaporates and the nanobubble consequently bursts. Our results support that pinning plays a crucial role for nanobubble stability
Original languageEnglish
Article number144503
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • METIS-303299
  • IR-90679


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