Molecules move faster on a rough terrain

Roughness, the presence of irregularities on a surface, is commonly associated with slower motion and stickiness. This is true at different length scales: at human size (1 meter), it takes longer to walk along a path that ...

An engineered surface unsticks sticky water droplets

The leaves of the lotus flower, and other natural surfaces that repel water and dirt, have been the model for many types of engineered liquid-repelling surfaces. As slippery as these surfaces are, however, tiny water droplets ...

Diamond as a building material for optical circuits

The application of light for information processing opens up a multitude of possibilities. However, to be able to adequately use photons in circuits and sensors, materials need to have particular optical and mechanical properties. ...

Tiny tool measures heat at the nanoscale

How heat flows at the nanoscale can be very different than at larger scales. Understanding how surfaces affect the transport of the fundamental units of heat, called phonons, could impact everything from thermoelectric materials ...

Decoding the age of the ice at Mars' north pole

Mars' north pole contains a large ice cap made up of many layers of frozen water. Like ice cores on Earth, those layers offer a tantalizing record of climate on Mars over the past several million years. The first step in ...

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