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Bubbles Nucleation 

Gas and vapor bubble nucleation, both in homogeneous and heterogeneous conditions, is important from the fundamental and applicative point of view. For example, nucleation can be induced by the propeller of a ship and the evolution and implosion of the bubble can generate shock waves which could damage the surface of the propeller itself. Gas nucleation is also the fundamental mechanism underneath dewetting of textured surfaces: a gas or vapor bubble is formed inside the texture cavities which eventually brings to the evacuation of the liquid wetting the cavity. 

Despite its importance, relatively little is known about nucleation, especially in presence of heterogeneity and under high confinement (nucleation in nanoscopic cavities). In our group we investigate nucleation by temporal mulstiscale atomistic and continuum techniques. We considered the case of both quasi-static nucleation and associated finite time effects (kinetic and inertia effects). We have considered a set of systems of technological and biological relevance characterized by nanoscopic textures,  such as pillared and pored surfaces, mixed hydrophobic-hydrophilic systems, and reentrant textures.


Mechanism and energetics of the dewetting of a textured surface. To appear on Physics Review Fluids 2017

(For more information please refer to: Simone Meloni, Alberto Giacomello, Matteo Amabili)

This figure shows that mixed hydrophilic/hydrophobic reentrant geometry modeling the Salvinia molesta surface we used in our recent article appeared Adv. Mater. Interfaces 2015, 2, 1500248. Our article has been selected for the back cover of Advanced Materials Interfaces.

Nucleation of a vapor bubble in a nanopore