The behavior of air bubbles in ordinary breakfast syrup demonstrates how scientists might be able to make vanishingly thin tubes and fibers for biomedical and other applications.
Previous experiments conducted in Sidney Nagels laboratory at the University of Chicago showed how to make liquid threads that measure only 10 microns in diameter (approximately one-fifth the diameter of a human hair). Now his Chicago colleague Wendy Zhang reports in the current issue of Physical Review Letters that it is theoretically possible to make much thinner threads by slightly altering experimental procedures. If proven in the laboratory, the technique has potential use in fiber optics, electronics and other industries. "There are many people who are trying to use this idea, or ideas like this, to make very thin wires," said Zhang, an Assistant Professor in Physics at the University of Chicago. "Theyre very interested to know whats the smallest size that they can achieve."
The calculation that Zhang devised to answer that question indicates there is no theoretical limit to the thinness of a thread produced via fluid flow. But the calculation doesnt account for the microscopic building blocks of matter. In reality, she said, a thread cannot be thinner than the molecules of which it is made. "In my opinion, this great work will open wide new avenues for the controlled production of extremely thin and long holes in materials like polymers, glasses and ceramics," said Alfonso Gañán-Calvo of the Universidad de Sevilla in Spain. He added that the work could have "an enormous impact in fields from biomedicine and biotechnology to the hot nanotech industry."
Steve Koppes | EurekAlert!
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The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
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