Nanobuble-controlled Nanofluidic Channels

Nanobubbles are tiny pockets of air. In nature, they are used to open and close fluid channels. On top of reproducing this effect, our work demonstrated that nanobubbles can enhance ion flows--which is like drinking extra soda when there's a bubble in the straw. The image above shows nanobubbles (lightest shade) inside a nanochannel (darkest shade). The remarkable fluid properties of this system are due to the effects of atomically thin fluid films (middle shade) that develop between the bubble surfaces and the channel walls. In lab-on-a-chip applications, we can use nanobubbles as building blocks for analysis devices. These findings also explore many surprising physical effects. We published this work in Science Advances where it is publicly available.