The University of Massachusetts Amherst

In Pictures

Ultrathin: New Wrapped Shapes Advance Materials Science

The pouch-like image above shows a thin sheet (39 nanometers thick) wrapping a water drop immersed in silicone oil. UMass Amherst theoretical physicists and a polymer scientist recently proposed and validated a new model of these wrapped shapes using much thinner sheets than before to achieve this wrapping process. Thinner, highly bendable sheets lift what were thought to be previous constraints on thin sheet capillary action to naturally wrap a droplet in a blanket of film. Wrapping a droplet in a sheet is a good way to protect it from its environment. These wrapping techniques could be used to contain toxic or corrosive liquids, to physically isolate a delicate liquid cargo or to shrink-wrap drops.  Learn more.

Image credit: Joseph Paulsen