MU researcher develops virtual wall which could stop the spread of oil and could help build invisible barrier for oil spills

December 5, 2013 12:12 AM

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Oil-based compounds are referred to as low-surface tension liquids because they tend to spread on the surface of a researcher's microscope slides or microarrays where the liquids are placed. Additionally, as can be seen from oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico, oil can stick and easily spread out on any surface. Using specially designed oil-repellent surfaces, Kwon and his group demonstrated invisible "virtual walls" which block spreading of low-surface tension liquids at the boundary line with microscopic features already created in the device.

"Our newly developed surface helped keep oil, which is normally unmanageable, in predetermined pathways making it controllable. We feel that oil-repellant surfaces can be widely utilized for many industrial applications, and virtual walls for low-surface tension liquids also have immense potential f...

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