The W-Ink 3D-nanostructured chip is able to instantly identify liquids
(Image: Ian Burgess)
The W-Ink chip appears blank in the air, but when dipped in varying concentrations of ethanol, it reveals new markings (A) - it can also differentiate between liquids of any type (B) (Image: Ian Burgess)
If you want to know exactly what a substance is, your best bet is to use something like a gas chromatographer. The problem is, such machines tend to be large, lab-based and expensive – not the greatest for use in the field, or by people who aren’t connected with a research institute. Researchers from Harvard University's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, however, have created inexpensive, portable 3D-nanostructured chips, that can instantly identify any liquid via its surface tension.
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