Feb 11, 2016

Bumpy liquid films could simplify fabrication of microlenses

Posted by in category: futurism

Keeping the microfabrication process smooth.

Have you ever noticed that when heated a film of oil in a pan doesn’t remain completely flat? Instead, it forms a wavy pattern that resembles the exterior of an orange. These sorts of deformations inspired a group of researchers at the Technical University of Darmstadt, in Germany, to explore whether they could be used to improve and streamline microfabrication processes.

The film of oil is a classic example of a hydrodynamic systems with a liquid-gas or liquid-liquid interface while, for instance,. Other examples include bubbles and the tiny droplets of fat in milk have a liquid-liquid interface. Planar liquid films, like the oil film, are particularly mechanically unstable and may undergo changes in morphology if not kept at a uniform temperature.

Only sufficiently thin liquid films undergo significant surface deformations upon exposure to stresses at the surface, while highly regular periodic flow patterns develop in the bulk of thicker films when subjected to the same stresses.

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