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Magnetic liquid marbles to facilitate rapid manipulation of the oil phase: Synergistic effect of semifluorinated ligand and catanionic surfactant mixtures

   Alp, Gokce; Alp, Erdem; Aydogan, Nihal

Stimuli-responsive liquid marbles can serve as reservoirs for encapsulating and carrying different materials, which could be used on demand for several applications. Here, enhanced spreading behavior of catanionic mixtures with magnetic liquid marbles were combined and a new approach to the phase separation, actuation and manipulation of liquids that could be important in many micro/macroscale operations is proposed. The magnetic liquid marbles containing catanionic surfactant mixture are prepared using superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) decorated by non-covalently-bonded semifluorinated alcohol, which is used for a specific purpose that has never been used before. Besides its ability to increase the hydrophobicity of NPs, the autooscillation behavior of the fluorinated alcohol maintains the fast rupture of the marble and provides the convective flow that supports the rapid transformation of the oil phase into lens form which contributes to obtain a better phase separation. Semifluorinated ligand helps the nanoparticles to integrate into oil phase, allowing the actuation of oil droplets via a magnetic field for a target-directed control of phases. With this system, an innovative model that stands at the intersection of several fundamental concepts of colloid and interface science as well as materials science and engineering is proposed.

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