Boiling pots watched

Copper nanorods that line a metal boiling vessel could be used to increase liquid boiling efficiency significantly. The result is that water can be boiled with an order of magnitude less energy than in a conventional smooth metal vessel, according to work done at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. "Our discovery was completely unexpected," explains team leader Nikhil Koratkar, The increased boiling efficiency seems to be the result of an interesting interplay between the nanoscale and microscale surfaces of the treated metal. Such a significant increase in boiling efficiency could be exploited in cooling computer chips, improving heat transfer systems, and reducing the costs for industrial boiling applications.