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Star-shaped droplets

Droplets subject to electric fields may obtain spectacular morphologies. Starting from the seminal works of Rayleigh (1882), Zeleny (1917) and G. I. Taylor (1964), the behaviour of droplets in an electric field continues to fascinate scientists due to their numerous applications. Charged droplets are often generated by electrospray ionization methods. We have found by molecular simulations that when a nano-drop comprising a single spherical central ion and dielectric solvent is charged above a well-defined threshold, it acquires a stable star morphology [S. Consta, Journal of Physical Chemistry B v. 114, pp. 5263--5268 (2010); Soft Matter v. 13 , pp. 8781-8795 (2017)] . Currently, we establish the principles of the formation of star-shaped droplets and their extensions to the formation of highly non-convex nano-particles.

A three-point star comprised water and a macroion

A four-point star comprised water and a macroion

A six-point star comprised water and macroion