Liquid marbles: principles and applications

Glen McHale, Michael I. Newton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The ability of particles to adhere to a fluid–fluid interface can stabilize the formation of an emulsion. When the encapsulated fluid is a liquid and the fluid in which it is immersed is air, the object formed is called a “Liquid Marble”. Here we discuss how liquid marbles can be created, their fundamental properties and their transport and potential uses. We show how they arise naturally as an insect waste disposal system, from impact of droplets on powders and on hydrophobic soil, and in the mixing of particulate containing liquids. Our principal aim is to review research on macroscopic single marbles and their potential uses in sensors and droplet microfluidics. However, we also illustrate the similarity between liquid marbles, Pickering emulsions and “Dry Water”, and the potential application of assemblies of liquid marbles within cosmetics and pharmaceutical formulations. Finally, we discuss how modifying the surface structure of particles and providing heterogeneous surface chemistry on particles (e.g. Janus particles) might provide new types of liquid marbles and applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5473-5481
Number of pages9
JournalSoft Matter
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2011


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