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ramé-hart instrument co. January 2015 Newsletter

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Extreme Wetting and Non-wetting
It seems that these days everyone is trying to find the extreme: extreme makeovers, extreme sports, extreme cheapskates, and extreme couponing. It's not just reality TV - in the scientific community, many researchers are looking to find the extreme limits in their area of expertise. Here are a few examples of extreme science from the past year. Europe's space mission Rosetta traveled extreme distances into space to transmit back to earth pictures of comet 67P. Computer scientists at IBM have developed extreme computer chips that process information in a fashion similar to the human brain. Researchers, mostly in academia, have developed nano-satellites that are only 10 cm cubed called CubeSats. This new form factor represents an extreme in small size. Over thirty CubeSats were launched in 2014 with dozens more in the works.

A CubeSat which has been treated to make its exterior housing icephobic.

Material scientists and researchers have been stepping up their efforts to find the extreme limits of wetting and non-wetting behavior. In the direction of extreme non-wetting, great strides have been made recently in the development of superhydrophobic materials. In the past ten years there have been 895 references to "superhydrophobic" in Langmuir. In the prior ten years, only eleven. Commercial products such as NeverWet are becoming readily available at your local Home Depot and on Amazon. Fabricators of windows, clothes, car parts, footwear, and outdoor equipment are all interested in and actively exploring ways to make their products more hydrophobic and self-cleaning. The Lotus leaf with its hierarchal structure remains the gold standard of non-wetting behavior and represents the surface to emulate for those looking for the extreme in superhydrophobic behavior.

In the other direction, superhydrophilicity, or extreme wetting, has become a topic of increasing interest. Under light irradiation, a surface made of titanium dioxide will exhibit a contact angle of nearly zero. Researchers are looking at other ways to make surfaces superhydrophilic in an effort to provide antifogging, antifouling, and other properties. Hydrophilic window treatments, for example, are being developed to reduce  window stain buildup and streaking.1 Some ramé-hart customers use our Overhead Optical Imaging Kit to better measure wetting behavior on surfaces with extremely low contact angle (under 5°). 

If it's not enough to produce extremely high or extremely low contact angle, some researchers are building switchable surfaces that can exhibit extreme wetting one minute and then extreme non-wetting the next. Thermo-sensitive polymers, for example, that can undergo a phase transition at the lower critical solution temperature (LCST) can trigger the change from non-wetting to wetting. Reversible switching is particularly interesting to researchers of systems that employ microfluidic design elements.

We expect an interest in the extremes to continue and we have no problem with that as all of our contact angle instruments can measure wetting and non-wetting behavior in the extreme.

1 See http://www.nano-ultra.com/.

A Glimpse of ramé-hart from A to Z

The following alphabetical list provides a non-comprehensive glimpse at who we are and what we offer:

A - Advancing and receding contact angles. Measure them with an Automated Tilting Base:

B - We now offer a Bifurcating Needle:

C - Check out our new Heated Environmental Cell:

D - Dispense accurately with our Automated Dispensing System:

E - The Elevated Temperature Syringe (http://www.ramehart.com/accessories.htm#100-11) is useful for polymers and other liquids with high melting points.

F - Use Film Clamps (http://www.ramehart.com/accessories.htm#100-15) when working with thin film substrates.

G - Goniometer. We're the first to make a contact angle goniometer commercially available.

H - The High Speed Upgrade Kit (http://www.ramehart.com/accessories.htm#100-12-G1) can more than double your rate of video capture.

I - We offer a variety of Imaging Upgrade Kits that will extend the life of your ramé-hart instrument: http://www.ramehart.com/accessories.htm#100-12-U1-UPG.

J - We are located in New Jersey, USA, which is an awesome place. 

K - Kits, we have lots of kits. See H and I.

L - Lead Frame Support: http://www.ramehart.com/accessories.htm#100-23.

M - The Manual Tilting Base is supported on every instrument we sell: http://www.ramehart.com/accessories.htm#100-25-M

N - We offer a free monthly Newsletter...which you are currently reading. The archive is here: http://www.ramehart.com/newsletters.htm.

O - Check out our Overhead Optical Imaging Kit: http://www.ramehart.com/accessories.htm#100-31.

P - For low temperatures, down to -50° C, and elevated temperatures up to 150° C, consider our multistage Peltier Environmental Chamber: http://www.ramehart.com/accessories.htm#100-30.

Q - Our standard Quartz Cell (http://www.ramehart.com/accessories.htm#100-07-50) can be used stand alone or in our Environmental Chamber, Environmental Fixture, Peltier Environmental Chamber, or Heated Temperature Cell.

R - Rotating Wafer Support is available from 4" to 13.625" diameter: http://www.ramehart.com/accessories.htm#100-21.

S - Order Spare Parts here: http://www.ramehart.us/.

T - Add the Temperature Logger
(http://www.ramehart.com/accessories.htm#100-32) to your setup if you wish to log the temperature using an existing ramé-hart or custom Environmental Chamber.

U - Our new U1 Series Camera operates at 100 fps.

V - We have a Vacuum Chuck Support available in both 6" and 8" diameters: http://www.ramehart.com/accessories.htm#100-21-VC.

W - We do Lab Work: http://www.ramehart.com/lab.htm

X - Our Environmental FiXture is super useful for doing any variety of liquid/liquid study: http://www.ramehart.com/accessories.htm#100-14.

Y - ramé-hart instrument company is Your one-stop source for contact angle and surface tension instruments and accessories. 

Z - We do customiZation and build custom systems: http://www.ramehart.com/custom.htm. Let us know what we can build for you.



Carl Clegg
Director of Sales
Phone 973-448-0305
Contact us


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