Popping bubbles: Surfactants have surprising effect on nanobubble stability

The stability of nanobubbles is well understood, but the mechanisms causing their eventual destabilization are still in question. Using molecular dynamics simulations, researchers in China explored the effect of surfactants — components that lower surface tension — on the stabilization of nanobubbles. They report their findings on the surprising mechanisms of destabilization for both soluble and insoluble surfactants this week in Applied Physics Letters.