Vapor Nanobubble Generation and Flows Enabled by Novel Superhydrophilic Bi-porous Interfaces



Reference #:  00968


The University of South Carolina is offering licensing opportunities for a singular two-phase flow pattern that addresses issues caused by two-phase flow pattern transitions.


Invention Description:


This invention describes novel super-hydrophilic, bi-porous interfaces that are nanoengineered to generate large amounts of stable and isolated vapor nanobubbles while unifying diversified two-phase flow patterns in microfluidic systems. These nanobubbles can radically eliminate flow pattern transitions, and they show promise in fundamentally addressing crucial issues resulting from flow pattern transitions.


Potential Applications:


The intrinsic merits of a unified two-phase flow pattern are highly desired in all areas pertinent to microscale two-phase transport. Microfluidic systems with two-phase transport have wide range application in fields such as biology, chemistry, energy, and thermal management.


Advantages and Benefits:


1.     This is the first time stable and isolated vapor nanobubbles have been successfully formed in a micro-channel array. According to classic thermodynamics theory, nanobubbles are not stable. Although the existence and stability of gas nanobubbles have been experimentally demonstrated, the existence of stable and isolated vapor nanobubbles has never been reported.

2.     The invention is a breakthrough for interfacial transport because stable and isolated vapor nanobubbles have the potential to create extremely high surface area to volume ratio (~106m-1) that promotes interfacial transport.




Two-phase transport efficiency in microfluidic systems has been limited by two-phase flow instabilities, which result from flow pattern transitions and are challenging to manage due to the nature of diversified two-phase patterns. Investigative research revealed that classic diversified two-phase patterns can be unified into a new and singular two-phase flow pattern, which has great potential to radically address issues resulting from two-phase flow pattern transitions.

Patent Information:
Title App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Expire Date Patent Status
Microfluidic Devices for the Generation of Nano-Vapor Bubbles and Their Methods of Manufacture and Use Utility United States 13/828,904 9,139,416 3/14/2013 9/22/2015   Issued
For Information, Contact:
Technology Commercialization
University of South Carolina
Chen Li
Fanghao Yang
Xianming Dai
Yan Tong
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