… Boiling of Water! Here’s a neat video about the work.
Here’s a quote from an MIT News story on the research:
“The whole concept relies on the fact that whether a surface is hydrophobic or hydrophilic will affect the rate of nucleation,” Cho says. “If it’s hydrophilic, it’s very difficult to nucleate bubbles.” So by switching the polarity, the rate of bubbling can be precisely controlled.
Unlike other approaches to modifying the wettability of metal surfaces, which rely on the creation of precise kinds of nanoscale textures on the surface, this system makes use of the tiny irregularities that naturally exist on a metal surface and does not require special processing.
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Hat tip: Alissa Walker at Gizmodo.