Bubbles are important for the transport of chemicals and organisms. In a series of work, discussed here, we showed how a universal and robust physically or biologically-induced Marangoni effect can sustain and enhance bubble lifetimes dramatically, even when evaporation takes place. This effect although counter-intuitive in some cases has profound implications on dispersal of chemicals, contaminants, and life!
Image from Poulain, S. and Bourouiba, L. (2019) Disease transmission via drops and bubbles. Physics Today 72: 70. PDF
Caption: Two bubbles burst on a watery surface, one (a) after 3 seconds and the other (b) after 55 seconds. The longer-lived bubble, being thinner, spawns some 250 drops when it bursts, whereas the younger one emits less than a dozen. (c) An air bubble is shown laden with bacteria. The inset shows that when the surface tension σ of a bubble’s apex is higher than that of its base, a replenishing Marangoni flow is established that counters evaporation. (Adapted from S. Poulain, L. Bourouiba, Phys. Rev. Lett. 121, 204502, 2018. PDF)