Main content area

Liquid Marbles Stabilized by Charged Polymer Latexes: How Does the Drying of the Latex Particles Affect the Properties of Liquid Marbles?

Sun, Guanqing, Sheng, Yifeng, Wu, Jie, Ma, Guanghui, Ngai, To
Langmuir 2014 v.30 no.42 pp. 12503-12508
air, coatings, dispersions, droplets, freeze drying, latex, liquids, pH, polymers, stabilizers, temperature, transportation
The coating of solid particles on the surface of liquid in air makes liquid marbles a promising approach in the transportation of a small amount of liquid. The stabilization of liquid marbles by polymeric latex particles imparts extra triggers such as pH and temperature, leading to the remote manipulation of droplets for many potential applications. Because the functionalized polymeric latexes can exist either as colloidally stable latex or as flocculated latex in a dispersion, the drying of latex dispersions under different conditions may play a significant role in the stabilization of subsequent liquid marbles. This article presents the investigation of liquid marbles stabilized by poly(styrene-co-methacrylic acid) (PS-co-MAA) particles drying under varied conditions. Protonation of the particles before freeze drying makes the particles excellent liquid marble stabilizers, but it is hard to stabilize liquid marbles for particles dried in their deprotonated states. The static properties of liquid marbles with increasing concentrations of protonating reagent revealed that the liquid marbles are gradually undermined by protonating the stabilizers. Furthermore, the liquid marbles stabilized by different particles showed distinct behaviors in separation and merging manipulated by tweezers. This study shows that the initial state of the particles should be carefully taken into account in formulating liquid marbles.