Texas A&M University reports about … levitating chemical “nano-beakers”:
Jan. 12, 2005 – Imagine an entire chemistry laboratory reduced to the size of a postage stamp. It could happen.
While others may think big, Texas A&M University physicists Don Naugle and co-worker Igor Lyuksyutov are thinking small – as in micro small. They have successfully managed to levitate micron-sized fluids using magnets, which could lead to new advances in medicine, chemistry, chemical engineering and other related fields.
By using small magnets on a postage-stamp sized chip, Naugle and Lyuksyutov have managed to move and merge tiny levitating droplets and crystals and to control the orientation of the levitating crystals.
“It might be possible to do the same thing with a large number of fluids, chemicals or even a virus,” Naugle explains.
“The Texas A&M team has managed to move and levitate several substances, including alcohol solutions, oils, some types of powders and even red blood cells and bacteria. It could be theoretically possible to reduce an entire chemistry lab to a few postage-stamp sized chips.
“Try to picture individual chemical beakers (droplets) being merged into other chemical beakers. That’s the principal involved here.”
More from the researchers themselves…