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Keywords:

  • environmental remediation;
  • interfaces;
  • oil spills;
  • polymers;
  • surfactants
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Coming clean: Polymer capsules of millimeter dimensions have been loaded with surfactants of negative, positive, or neutral charge, and their influence on the movement of oil droplets at the water/air interface was compared. Release of surfactant molecules from the capsule affects the surface tension γ and pulling force F (see figure) such that an oil droplet moves away from the polymer micromotor.