Scientists from the Faculty of Physics at the University of Warsaw (UW), the University of Cambridge, Queen Mary University of London and the University of Sofia have published a new article in Nature Physics. It describes the suspension behavior of oil microdroplets with the addition of a surfactant (detergent-like surfactant) in water.
-In the article for Nature Physics we have presented a new class of active, flexible micro-floats produced by simply cooling a 3-component mixture. They are easy to control and cheap to produce – emphasizes Dr Maciej Lisicki from the Faculty of Physics, University of Warsaw, one of the authors of the article.
Slow cooling of the suspension of oil droplets in water with the addition of a surfactant may lead to the formation of non-spherical droplet shapes. In the course of further evolution, they develop thread-like structures resembling bacterial flagella. The formed fibers induce the movement of the droplets, and this process is fully reversible through cyclical changes in the temperature of their surroundings, according to research conducted with the participation of Polish scientists.
The discoveries are the result of many years of international cooperation of scientists from Poland, Bulgaria and Great Britain.