Better boiling

A new way to control bubble formation during boiling could improve steam irons, industrial boilers and even advanced electronics devices, making them function more effectively and even last longer. Engineers at Oregon State University based their approach on the use of piezoelectric inkjet printing to pattern a surface with hydrophobic polymer dots and then applied a hydrophilic zinc oxide nanostructure, which deposits only in the area without dots. By controlling both the hydrophobic and hydrophilic structure of the material, bubble formation can be precisely controlled and manipulated, for heat dissipation in electronic circuits for instance or for a lower temperature steam in a clothing iron.