A unified mechanism for the stability of surface nanobubbles: Contact line pinning and supersaturation

YW Liu and XR Zhang, JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 141, 134702 (2014).

DOI: 10.1063/1.4896937

In this paper, we apply the molecular dynamics simulation method to study the stability of surface nanobubbles in both pure fluids and gas- liquid mixtures. First, we demonstrate with molecular simulations, for the first time, that surface nanobubbles can be stabilized in superheated or gas supersaturated liquid by the contact line pinning caused by the surface heterogeneity. Then, a unified mechanism for nanobubble stability is put forward here that stabilizing nanobubbles require both the contact line pinning and supersaturation. In the mechanism, the supersaturation refers to superheating for pure fluids and gas supersaturation or superheating for the gas-liquid mixtures, both of which exert the same effect on nanobubble stability. As the level of supersaturation increases, we found a Wenzel or Cassie wetting state for undersaturated and saturated fluids, stable nanobubbles at moderate supersaturation with decreasing curvature radius and contact angle, and finally the liquid-to-vapor phase transition at high supersaturation. (C) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.

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