Small Levitating Ordered Droplet Clusters: Stability, Symmetry, and Voronoi Entropy

Alexander A. Fedorets, Mark Frenkel, Edward Bormashenko, Michael Nosonovsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


A method to generate levitating monodisperse microdroplet clusters with an arbitrary number of identical droplets is presented. Clusters with 1-28 droplets levitate over a locally heated water layer in an ascending vapor-air jet. Due to the attraction to the center of the heated area combined with aerodynamic repulsion between the droplets, the clusters form structures that are quite diverse and different from densest packing of hard spheres. The clusters self-organize into stable and reproducible configurations dependent on the number of droplets while independent of the droplets' size. The central parts of larger clusters reproduce the shape of smaller clusters. The ability to synthesize stable clusters with a given number of droplets is important for tracing droplets, which is crucial for potential applications such as microreactors and for chemical analysis of small volumes of liquid.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5599-5602
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Issue number22
StatePublished - 16 Nov 2017


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