Self-Propelled Aero-GaN Based Liquid Marbles Exhibiting Pulsed Rotation on the Water Surface

We report on self-propelled rotating liquid marbles fabricated using droplets of alcoholic solution encapsulated in hollow microtetrapods of GaN with hydrophilic free ends of their arms and hydrophobic lateral walls. Apart from stationary rotation, elongated-spheroid-like liquid marbles were found, for the first time, to exhibit pulsed rotation on water surfaces characterized by a threshold speed of rotation, which increased with the weight of the liquid marble while the frequency of pulses proved to decrease. To throw light upon the unusual behavior of the developed self-propelled liquid marbles, we propose a model which takes into account skimming of the liquid marbles over the water surface similar to that inherent to flying water lily beetle and the so-called helicopter effect, causing a liquid marble to rise above the level of the water surface when rotating.


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