Thanks to a specially textured surface developed in the lab of Evelyn N. Wang ‘00, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering, researchers can now ensure that droplets of liquid spread across a surface in only one specific direction. Wang and her students made the material at the MIT Microsystems Technology Laboratories by etching a silicon wafer to produce a grid of tiny pillars. Then they coated the pillars with gold on one side to make them bend in one direction, causing liquid that is dropped onto the chip to spread only in that direction. “Nobody had really studied this kind of geometry, because it’s hard to fabricate,” Wang says. She says such systems could be used for a wide variety of applications, such as ink-jet printing or manipulating biological molecules on the surface of a chip for medical testing.
Geoffrey Hinton tells us why he’s now scared of the tech he helped build
“I have suddenly switched my views on whether these things are going to be more intelligent than us.”
ChatGPT is going to change education, not destroy it
The narrative around cheating students doesn’t tell the whole story. Meet the teachers who think generative AI could actually make learning better.
Meet the people who use Notion to plan their whole lives
The workplace tool’s appeal extends far beyond organizing work projects. Many users find it’s just as useful for managing their free time.
Learning to code isn’t enough
Historically, learn-to-code efforts have provided opportunities for the few, but new efforts are aiming to be inclusive.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.