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March 20th, 2007

Smart fluid controlled with light

Members of the Complex Fluids and Nanomaterials Group, at the University of Maryland have discovered a new class of "smart fluids" capable of switching from gel to liquid upon exposure to ultraviolet light.
A paper detailing the group's findings, titled "A simple class of photorheological fluids: Surfactant solutions with viscosity tunable by light," was recently published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society ("A Simple Class of Photorheological Fluids: Surfactant Solutions with Viscosity Tunable by Light"). The paper was authored by graduate students Aimee M. Ketner and Rakesh Kumar, alumnus Tanner S. Davies, undergraduate Patrick W. Elder, and professor Raghavan. It is already generating interest in the scientific community, most recently being discussed by Nature magazine's website, Chemical Processing magazine, Materials Today, and ScienceDaily.


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