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Flow on the large scale, in Microsystems and in nanosystems show very different behaviour.

In nanofluidic systems you willl have

  • Small sample volume
  • High area to volume ratio
  • Domination of surface forces
  • Short diffusion times
  • Enhanced reaction kinetics due to short diffusion times
  • Relatively large electric double layer

Nanoscale flow can be enhanced considerably compared to what is predicted by macroscale Knudsen flow or continuum hydrodynamics models - see Science Vol. 312. no. 5776, pp. 1034 - 1037 DOI-link (Fast Mass Transport Through Sub-2-Nanometer Carbon Nanotubes)


Ferrofluids are a form of colloidal suspensions. They are tiny iron particles covered with a liquid coating, also surfactant, that are then added to water or oil, which gives them their liquid properties. Ferrofluids are colloidal suspensions. Those are materials with properties of more than one state of matter. In this case, the two states of matter are the solid metal and liquid it is in. This ability to change phases with the application of a magnetic field allows them to be used as seals, lubricants, and may open up further applications in future nanoelectromechanical systems.

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