"Lubricating" nanoscale machines?

from the redefining-"fluid" dept.
A Georgia Tech press release at EurekAlert describes work by Feynman Prizewinner Uzi Landman: "Landman's research group has reported on the tendency of lubricant molecules such as hexadecane and other molecular fluids to form highly ordered layers in planes parallel to the motion of the confining surfaces. On size scales that approximate multiples of the molecular width, these layered lubricants appear to increase their viscosity, 'becoming, at equilibrium and at various stages of the sliding motion, liquid-like in the plane parallel to the sliding surfaces and solid-like in the direction perpendicular to the surfaces,' Landman said…'We must find clever ways to harness and control these new behaviors in order to realize the opportunities in nanotechnology." " CP: While we do need to know about fluids at nanoscales, do nanomachines need "lubrication" per se?

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