During recent years the pursuit of scale reduction inherent to nanotechnologies has been extended to the fluidic domain and liquid flow manipulation, with the important development of /micro/- and /nanofluidics/. The enhancement of the influence of surface properties, with respect to bulk properties, invariably associated with such a downsizing, has triggered a wide range of investigations aiming at the understanding of hydrodynamics at interfaces, down to the nano-scale.
The insight so gained in the microscopic understanding of fields such as for instance liquid slippage at solid surfaces, or electrokinetic effects, now allows to envision a reverse bottom-up approach whereby surface effects – the origin of which are intrinsically molecular – are used to drive and manipulate liquid and colloids at micro- and even up the macro-scale.
In this presentation, I will present you a few strategies recently developed, in our group in the University of Lyon, following this route.
It will illustrate the fact that, even in macroscopic situations, surfaces can indeed appear as key parameter in understanding flow behavior.