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Nanowires can lift liquids without power

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Published on Apr 1, 2013

New research carried out at MIT and elsewhere has demonstrated for the first time that when inserted into a pool of liquid, nanowires — wires that are only a few nanometers (billionths of a meter) across — naturally draw the liquid upward in a thin film that coats the surface of the wire. The finding could have applications in microfluidic devices, biomedical research and inkjet printers.

In each video, a single solid nanowire or a network of nanowires are dipped into liquid. Because of capillary action, the liquid is pumped up along the solid nanowire
surface, either as droplets called "Rayleigh beads", or as a thin layer
called a "precursor Film," that is just 5-10 nm thick. At places where
wires intersect, droplets build up, forming reservoirs of liquid. This
level of detail is at least 20 times more powerful than traditional
optical microscope studies of liquid-solid interactions.

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