Droplets are spherical due to the principle of interfacial energy minimization. Here, we show that nonequilibrium droplet shapes can be stabilized via the interfacial self-assembly and crosslinking of nanoparticles. This principle allows for the stability of practically infinitely long liquid tubules and monodisperse cylindrical droplets. Droplets of oil-in-water are elongated via gravitational or hydrodynamic forces at a reduced interfacial tension. Silica nanoparticles self-assemble and cross-link on the interface triggered by the synergistic surface modification with hexyltrimethylammonium- and trivalent lanthanum-cations. The droplet length dependence is described by a scaling relationship and the rate of nanoparticle deposition on the droplets is estimated. Our approach potentially enables the 3D-printing of Newtonian Fluids, broadening the array of material options for additive manufacturing techniques.
Mohd A. Kahn & Martin F. Haase. Stabilizing liquid drops in nonequilibrium shapes by the interfacial crosslinking of nanoparticles. Soft Matter, 2021,17, 2034-2041
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