BEIJING, Dec. 24 (Xinhua) -- The lightsaber in the sci-fi movie Star Wars is finding artistic and practical applications as Chinese, U.S. scientists developed liquid pigments that can be cut open by laser pens.
The research team from the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China (UESTC), the University of Arizona, and the University of Houston reported a kind of fluid that can visibly deform when driven by a laser "paintbrush."
A laser beam could previously cause weak liquid surface depression via surface tension gradient, but it happened at a nanometer scale, only observed microscopically.
The study published in the December Volume of the journal Materials Today demonstrated a one-millimeter depression and rupture on the magnetic fluids created by mixing transparent lamp oil with different candle dyes under laser or even sunlight illumination.
In a video clip, a researcher uses an ordinary laser show projector or laser pointer to cut open fluids in the culture dish into different shapes and sizes.
Wang Zhiming, a professor with UESTC and corresponding author of the paper, told Xinhua that, apart from carving graphics on fluids, the technique can also drive liquids in the capillaries or actuate chemistry between different droplets via remote control.
It opens up broad prospects for industrial uses, said Wang. Enditem