Dynamic Oscillation and Motion of Oil-in-Water Emulsion Droplets

Sanjana Krishna Mani, Sulaiman Al-Tooqi, Jiaqi Song, Aditya Sapre, Lauren D. Zarzar, Ayusman Sen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The interplay of interfacial tensions on droplets results in a range of self-powered motions that mimic those of living systems and serve as a tunable model to understand their complex non-equilibrium behavior. Spontaneous shape deformations and oscillations are crucial features observed in nature but difficult to incorporate in synthetic artificial systems. Here, we report sessile oil-in-water emulsions that exhibit rapid oscillating behavior. The oscillations depend on the nature and concentration of the surfactant, the chemical composition of the oil, and the wettability of the solid substrate. The rapid changes in the contact angle per oscillation are observed using side-view optical microscopy. We propose that the changes in the interfacial tension of the oil droplets is due to the partitioning of the surfactant into the oil phase and the movement of self-emulsified oil out of the parent droplets giving rise to the rhythmic variation in droplet contact-line. The ability to control and understand droplet oscillation can help model similar oscillations in out-of-equilibrium systems in nature and reproduce biomimetic behavior in artificial systems for various applications, such as microfluidic lab-on-a-chip and adaptive materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere202316242
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number6
StatePublished - Feb 5 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry

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