Nanoparticles lock together to hold water in place for more than a month
|WARPED WATER A tiny ball of water holds its football shape for days because nanoparticles coating it lock together to trap it.|
Distorted droplets of water can hold their elongated shapes for weeks when surrounded by a thin layer of nanoparticles.
Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst plunged water droplets loaded with plastic nanoparticles into a mix of oil and silicone polymer. Submerged in the slimy solution, the water’s nanoparticles floated to the edges of the droplets and interacted with the silicone polymer to form a detergent, which coated each ball of water. The researchers then flipped on an electrical current, which stretched the water droplets and their detergent layers into a football shape.