A scalable platform for functional nanomaterials

Conference Dates

April 3-7, 2016


Bubble bursting at interfaces plays an important role in a spectrum of physical and biological phenomena, from foam evolution to mass transport across various interfaces1-5. Recently, bubble bursting at an air/oil/water-with-surfactant compound interface was found to disperse submicrometer oil droplets into the water column6. Inspired by this observation, here we propose a new top-down platform to generate functional oil-in-water nanoemulsions. We demonstrate scaled-up synthesis of nanoemulsions with stability for days, which offers the flexibility of further treatments and functionalization. By placing functional materials in the appropriate phase, we also document that the bubbling system has the capability to produce nanoemulsions encapsulating functional materials, such as quantum dots, silica nanoparticles and lipid molecules. Considering the simplicity and energy efficiency of the new bubbling platform, together with the diversity of products and the potential for mass production, our one-step a new toolbox for generating (multi-)functional nanoemulsions and nanoparticles.


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  2. Prentice, P., et. al. “Membrane disruption by optically controlled microbubble cavitation”, Nat. Phys. 1, 107-110 (2005).
  3. Russell, L. M., et.. al. “Carbohydrate-like composition of submicron atmospheric particles and their production from ocean bubble bursting”, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 107 , 6652-6657 (2010).
  4. Bird, J. C., et. al. “Daughter bubble cascades produced by folding of ruptured thin films”, Nature, 465 , 759-762 (2010).
  5. Lhuissier, H. et. al. “Bursting bubble aerosols”. J. Fluid Mech. 696 , 5-44 (2012).

Feng, J. et al. “Nanoemulsions obtained via bubble-bursting at a compound interface” Nat. Phys. 10 , 606-612 (2014).

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