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Droplets emanating from a molecular "nano-tap" would behave very differently from those from a household tap 1 million times larger—researchers at the University of Warwick have found. This is potentially crucial step for a number of emerging nano technologies, e.g., manufacture of nano-sized drug particles, lab-on-chip devices for in situ diagnostics, and 3-D printers capable of nanoscale resolution.
Molecular simulations of liquid jets, akin to a stream of water pouring out of a nano-tap, have been used by researchers at the University of Warwick to probe the nanoscale production of droplets. The reduction in scale from the household jet is equivalent to that of Big Ben being shrunk to the size of a human hair!
Breakup - Jets - Theory - Rayleigh - Plateau
The breakup of jets has a classical theory, devised by Rayleigh and Plateau in the 19th century, but this was found to be inadequate at the nanoscale, where one cannot ignore the inherent jostling of molecules that produces nano-waves on the liquid's boundary. The new theory developed captures these nano-waves and can accurately predict the production of nanodroplets.
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