Stabilizing liquid drops in nonequilibrium shapes by the interfacial crosslinking of nanoparticles†
Droplets are spherical due to the principle of interfacial energy minimization. Here, we show that nonequilibrium droplet shapes can be stabilized via the interfacial self-assembly and crosslinking of nanoparticles. This principle allows for the stability of practically infinitely long liquid tubules and monodisperse cylindrical droplets. Droplets of oil-in-water are elongated via gravitational or hydrodynamic forces at a reduced interfacial tension. Silica nanoparticles self-assemble and cross-link on the interface triggered by the synergistic surface modification with hexyltrimethylammonium- and trivalent lanthanum-cations. The droplet length dependence is described by a scaling relationship and the rate of nanoparticle deposition on the droplets is estimated. Our approach potentially enables the 3D-printing of Newtonian Fluids, broadening the array of material options for additive manufacturing techniques.
- This article is part of the themed collection: 2021 Soft Matter Emerging Investigators