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Self-propulsion of liquid marbles: Leidenfrost-like levitation driven by marangoni flow

Bormashenko, Edward; Bormashenko, Yelena; Grynyov, Roman; Aharoni, Hadas; Whyman, Gene; Binks, Bernard P.


Edward Bormashenko

Yelena Bormashenko

Roman Grynyov

Hadas Aharoni

Gene Whyman


Self-propulsion of liquid marbles filled with aqueous alcohol solutions and placed on a water surface is reported. The characteristic velocity of the marbles is ca. 0.1 m/s. The phenomenon of self-propulsion is related to the Marangoni solutocapillary flow caused by the condensation of alcohol, evaporated from the liquid marble, on a water surface. The Marangoni flow in turn enhances the evaporation of alcohol from the marbles. Addition of alcohol to the water supporting the marbles suppresses the self-propulsion. The propulsion of liquid marbles is mainly stopped by water drag. The velocity of the center of mass of the marbles increases with an increase in the concentration of alcohol within the marble. The self-propulsion velocity of marbles is independent of their volume. Self-propulsion was not observed when marbles were placed on a glycerol surface.


Bormashenko, E., Bormashenko, Y., Grynyov, R., Aharoni, H., Whyman, G., & Binks, B. P. (2015). Self-propulsion of liquid marbles: Leidenfrost-like levitation driven by marangoni flow. Journal of physical chemistry. C, 119(18), 9910-9915.

Acceptance Date Feb 8, 2015
Online Publication Date Apr 22, 2015
Publication Date May 7, 2015
Deposit Date Apr 23, 2015
Publicly Available Date Apr 23, 2015
Journal Journal of physical chemistry. C
Print ISSN 1932-7447
Electronic ISSN 1932-7455
Publisher American Chemical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 119
Issue 18
Pages 9910-9915
Keywords Non-stick droplets; Hydrophobic fluorosilica powder; Surface tension; Solutocapillary driven locomotion; Instability
Public URL
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Additional Information This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in Journal of physical chemistry. C, copyright © American Chemical Society after peer review and technical editing by the publisher. To access the final edited and published work see
Contract Date Apr 23, 2015


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