The LABORATORY OF INTERFACIAL PLUS MICROSCALE PHENOMENA provides an infrastructure to study the underlying physics of microfluidics and microscale transport processes at interfaces. This laboratory opened very recently, providing a new area of research at IN+. It is supported by a multidisciplinary team, which has been growing continuous expertise in a variety of subjects, mostly related to bioengineering, chemical engineering and micro-fabrication.
Contributions include the cooling technology of electronic devices/chips where two-phase flows and surface engineering have been used to control the microstructure and composition of the interface to optimize the rates of heat transfer. Parallel novel studies are being conducted aimed towards understanding the fundamental issues by which the interfacial energy is altered by the application of an external source, either an electric or electromagnetic field.
Together with surface engineering, this provides unlimited sources of technological applications, namely to achieve further miniaturization and portability of chemical assays. This approach is now a centre of attention due to the advent of many nanomaterials and is one of the greatest engineering challenges.
Furthermore, the laboratory is prepared with demo facilities to teach basic concepts in pool and flow boiling and to show practical in situ applications for cooling and refrigeration systems to support the teaching of subjects in fluid mechanics (micro fluidics and biomicrofluidics), heat transfer and thermodynamics of macro and microelectromechanical systems.
The available equipment includes microscopic techniques of laser diffraction for the characterization of a variety of microfluidic and interfacial transport phenomena, such as: