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Liquid Tubule Formation and Stabilization Using Cellulose Nanocrystal Surfactants

  Structured liquids, generated by the in situ interfacial generation, assembly and jamming of nanoparticle (NP)-surfactants at liquid interfaces, maintain all the desirable characteristics of each liquid, while providing a spatially structured frame work. Here, we show that rod-like cellulose nanocrystal (CNC)-based NP-surfactants, termed CNC-surfactants, are formed rapidly at the liquid/liquid interface, assemble into a monolayer, and, when jammed, offer a robust assembly with exceptional mechanical properties. Plateau-Rayleigh (PR) instabilities of a free-falling jet of an aqueous medium containing the CNCs into a toluene solution of amine end-functionalized polystyrene, are completely suppressed, allowing the jetting of aqueous tubules that are stabilized when the CNC-surfactants are jammed at the interface. These results open a new platform for the additive manufacturing techniques, e.g. three-dimensional (3D) printing, of all-liquid constructs according to the pre-set model.