Pinning in a Contact and Noncontact Manner: Direct Observation of a Three-Phase Contact Line Using Graphene Liquid Cells

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Abstract

Pinning of a three-phase contact line at the nanoscale cannot be explained by conventional macroscale theories and thus requires an experimental insight to understand this phenomenon. We performed in-situ transmission electron microscopy observation of the three-phase contact lines of bubbles inside graphene liquid cells to experimentally investigate the causes of nanoscale pinning. In our observations, the three-phase contact line was not affected by the 0.6 nm-thick inhomogeneity of the graphene surface, but thicker metal nanoparticles with diameters of 2-10 nm and nanoflakes caused pinning of the gas-liquid interface. Notably, we found that flake-like objects can cause pinning that prevents the bubble overcome the flake object in a noncontact state, with a 2 nm-thick liquid film between them and the bubble. This phenomenon can be explained by the repulsive force obtained using the Derjaguin, Landau, Verwey, and Overbeek theory. We also observed that the flake temporally prevented the gas-liquid interface moving away from the flake. We discussed the physical mechanism of the attractive force-like phenomenon by considering the nanoconfinement effect of the liquid sandwiched by two graphene sheets and the hydration layer formed near the solid surface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12271-12277
Number of pages7
JournalLangmuir
Volume37
Issue number42
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 26 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry

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