Open nanofluidic systems, where liquids flow along the outer surface of nanoscale structures, provide otherwise unfeasible capabilities for extremely miniaturized liquid handling applications.

Liquidmass team has developed a critical step toward fully functional applications of the technology: quantitative mass flow control.

We have found a voltage range where mass flow rate follows a nonlinear monotonic increase, establishing a steady flow regime for which we show mass flow control at rates from below 1 ag/s to above 100 fg/s and precise liquid handling down to the zeptoliter scale.

The observed behavior of mass flow rate is consistent with a voltage-induced transition from static wetting to dynamic spreading as the mechanism underlying liquid transport along the nanowires.