Designing Heterogenous Wettable Areas for Carbonation Bubble Patterns on Surfaces

Harpreet Sareen, Yibo Fu, Nour Boulahcen, Yasuaki Kakehi
In Proceedings of CHI 2023, PDF

In Proceedings of ISEA 2023, PDF
Exhibited at Ars Electronica, Linz 2022
Provisional patent filed, all rights reserved

        We present a new fabrication technique that enables control of CO2 bubble positions and their size within carbonated liquids. We show creation of patterns, images and text through sessile bubbles that exhibit a lifetime of several days. Surfaces with mixed wettability regions are created on glass and plastic using ceramic coatings or plasma projection leading to patterns that are relatively invisible to the human eye. Different regions react to liquids differently. Nucleation is activated after carbonated liquid is poured onto the surface with bubbles nucleating in hydrophobic regions with a strong adherence to the surface and can be controlled in size ranging from 0.5mm – 6.5mm. Various applications are presented to demonstrate aspects that may be harnessed for a wide range of use in daily life.

        Through this work, we enable the use of carbonation bubbles as a new design material for designers and researchers.

We designed a custom tool based on p5.JS that allows users to create such wettability patterns by consolidating image import (color or grayscale), grayscale conversion, and corresponding bubbles pixelation in a single pipeline. User-imported images are analyzed against the background.

Hydrophobicity created by ceramic coating/plasma treatment

Exhibition at Ars Electronica, Linz, 2022