American Chemical Society
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Bio-Inspired Elastic Liquid-Infused Material for On-Demand Underwater Manipulation of Air Bubbles

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journal contribution
posted on 2019-09-02, 22:04 authored by Jianqiang Zhang, Peng Liu, Bo Yi, Zhaoyue Wang, Xin Huang, Lei Jiang, Xi Yao
Precise and robust manipulation of air bubbles will favor intense demands from governing processes of chemical reactions to enhancing transportation efficiency in multiphase engineering systems. Inspired by the working mechanism of mucous lining in lung alveoli, the elastic liquid-infused material (eLIM) is constructed by infiltrating an interconnected porous elastomer with a low-surface-energy lining liquid. With the help of the lining liquid, the pore pressure of the interconnected channels in eLIM can be reversibly regulated under mechanical stretching, balancing the capillary pressure in the channels with diverse radii and allowing gas flow in these channels. Therefore, air bubbles could be transported in and across the eLIM, showing on-demand control on the bubble contact angle, merging and splitting in an active and precise manner. The robust manipulation strategies on air bubbles can find applications in bioreactors and many other bubble-involved processes.