Our new paper on levitating ordered clusters of microdroplets

N. Aktaev, A. Fedorets, E. Bormashenko, M. Nosonvosky “Langevin Approach to Modeling of Small Levitating Ordered Droplet ClustersJ. Phys. Chem. Lett., 2018, 9, pp 3834–3838, (Impact Factor = 9.35) DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.8b01693

The Table of Content image shows theoretical predictions of two different microclusters vs. experimental microscopic observations.

The paper is a result of collaboration with Tumen University in Russia and Ariel University in Israel. The main contribution to this work is by Nurken Aktaev, a young researcher from Russia. The phenomenon of the self-assembled droplet cluster was discovered by Prof. Alexander Fedorets in 2003, and it is a matter of active study by our self-assembled international group.

A self-assembled cluster of micro-droplets levitating over a heated water surface is a fascinating phenomenon with potential applications for micro-reactors and for chemical and biological analysis of small volumes of liquids. Recently, we suggested a method to synthesize a cluster with an arbitrary number of small monodisperse droplets. However, the interactions, which control the structure of the cluster, are still not well understood. Here we propose a Langevin computational model considering the aerodynamic forces between the droplets and random diffusion-like fluctuations. Characteristic length and time scales and scaling relationships of interactions are discussed. The model shows an excellent agreement with experimental observations for a small number of droplets.