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A high-resolution closeup of water droplets. (Oak Ridge National Lab)

An Oak Ridge National Laboratory team led by UT’s Takeshi Egami has made a breakthrough that could vastly improve electronics thanks to a better understanding of how liquids behave at a molecular level.

The team was able to measure the bond between hydrogen and oxygen using a form of high-resolution X-ray scattering.

That bond helps determine the viscosity of water, and a greater understanding of its interactions and mechanics will help in studies involving other liquids.

“We found that the amount of time it takes for a molecule to change its ‘neighbor’ molecule determines the water’s viscosity,” said Egami, a Distinguished Professor in materials science at UT.

The team included Takuya Iwashita and Bin Wu of the Shull Wollan Center and UT; Wei-Ren Chen of the Shull Wollan Center and ORNL; and Satoshi Tsutsui and Alfred Q. R. Baron of the SPring-8/RIKEN, Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute.

A full release on the breakthrough can be read on the ORNL website.

The full research can be reviewed on Science Advances.

Media coverage includes: UPI, Sam Howard, Dec. 26; Brietbart, Dec. 26; Optics and Photonics, Stewart Willis, Dec. 28.