Thursday, 17 January 2013

Droplets and a Nanotube Array: A Love Story

With superhydrophobic substances like carbon nanotubes, a high speed camera and small water droplets you can create magic.  Possibly this might not be the gift that people want as a valentines day present (less than a month away).  For people that like fluid dynamics this might be the perfect gift.  It is the equivalent of fluid dynamic porn.

The researchers at Caltech wanted to make superhydrophobic materials for practical applications.  These kind of applications can be for example to have container ships glide more smoothly through the water.  so they showed water droplets on these nanotubes at different velocities to see what kind of impact they have, whether they break into a couple of separate drops or whether they make a larger spray.  Then they changed the angle and the shape of the nanoarray to make a really cool half pipe.  Watch to see what happens when two drops go on the half pipe.

Original article featured in Popsci: