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Coalescence of electrically charged liquid marbles

Binks, Bernard P.; Fu, Xiangyu; Liu, Zhou; Shum, Ho Cheung


Xiangyu Fu

Zhou Liu

Ho Cheung Shum


© The Royal Society of Chemistry. In this work, we investigated the coalescence of liquid water marbles driven by a DC electric field. We have found that two contacting liquid marbles can be forced to coalesce when they are charged by a sufficiently high voltage. The threshold voltage leading to the electro-coalescence sensitively depends on the stabilizing particles as well as the surface tension of the aqueous phase. By evaluating the electric stress and surface tension effect, we attribute such coalescence to the formation of a connecting bridge driven by the electric stress. This liquid bridge subsequently grows and leads to the merging of the marbles. Our interpretation is confirmed by the scaling relation between the electric stress and the restoring capillary pressure. In addition, multiple marbles in a chain can be driven to coalesce by a sufficiently high threshold voltage that increases linearly with the number of the marbles. We have further proposed a simple model to predict the relationship between the threshold voltage and the number of liquid marbles, which agrees well with the experimental results. The concept of electro-coalescence of liquid marbles can be potentially useful in their use as containers for chemical and biomedical reactions involving multiple reagents.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2017-02
Journal Soft matter
Print ISSN 1744-683X
Electronic ISSN 1744-6848
Publisher Royal Society of Chemistry
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 13
Issue 1
Pages 119-124
APA6 Citation Binks, B. P., Fu, X., Liu, Z., & Shum, H. C. (2017). Coalescence of electrically charged liquid marbles. Soft matter, 13(1), 119-124. doi:10.1039/c6sm00883f
Keywords Liquid marbles
Publisher URL!divAbstract
Copyright Statement ©2017 University of Hull
Additional Information Authors' accepted manuscript of article published in: Soft matter, 2017, v.13.


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