Artist's description:

Hand drawn archival ink on acid free paper, original roughly 8 x 10 inches
A very imaginary nanostructure, with little hints and allusions to surfactancy, cell membranes, and complex fluids in general. What do microstructures and nanostructures really do when we're not looking?

Complex Fluids are fluids that have labile internal structures. These structures are caused by "soft" interactions between molecules nanostructures like polymeric molecules and particles. Picture a bunch of tiny fragile objects held together ever so lightly. Now imagine that the component objects detach themselves and reattach constantly. This picture describes some of the structure and behavior of a complex fluid.

A very common component of a structured complex fluid is a type of molecule called an amphiphile. Amphi means both, while phile means to like. Amphiphiles are thus molecules that like both oil and water. How does this happen? An amphiphilic molecule is large enough to have different zones. One zone (usually small) contains polar or charged chemical groups. These "like" water. Another zone (usually longer and wiggly) contains chemical groups that dissolve well in non-polar solvents - in "oils".

These molecules will form tiny droplet structures in water, where all of the oil-liking parts point into the interior of the droplet, creating an "oil", where like dissolves like. The water-liking groups stick out into the water. If solvent or oil is added to the liquid, it can dissolve in the interior of the little amphiphile droplets. This is how soaps work.

As the concentrations of different components of a complex fluid change, a variety of different soft fluid structures form. In the Drawing "complex fluid", amphiphiles and some of the structures are suggested with patterns of tiny spheres and straight somewhat parallel lines. Smaller molecules and other components are suggested through tiny dots and other shapes. Stippled patterns suggest the soft labile structures in the fluid.

Materials used:

pigmented ink (felt tip fine line pen)

Complex Fluid (2011)


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This artwork is sold by Regina Valluzzi from United States

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