The curious task of watching liquid marbles dry

12 October, 2021

Understanding how liquid marbles behave as they evaporate provides valuable insights into these unique structures and their potential applications.


A comprehensive framework for studying the evaporation behavior of liquid marbles is helping KAUST researchers to better understand these tiny biological structures.

Liquid marbles were first discovered during a study of the behavior of aphids — tiny insects that live inside plant galls. Aphids drink nectar, then excrete sticky, sugary substances into their confined living space. To avoid drowning in their own excretions, the insects coat the sticky fluid with wax particles, creating tiny liquid marbles with a hydrophobic outer layer that they cannot stick to.

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