The behaviour of a fluid on small scales can be dramatically different from its large-scale behaviour. Surface and interfacial effects dominate the dynamics, inducing for example Marangoni flows, interfacial instabilities and (de)wetting of the underlying substrate. On the nanoscale the molecular discreteness of the fluid, Brownian motion and local fluctuations, Van der Waals- and electrostatic forces induce new physical phenomena.
Applications of micro and nano hydrodynamics range from inkjet printing to nanolithography, coating flows, enhanced oil recovery and biomedical diagnostics.
Examples of ongoing research topics are the interaction of laser light with droplets and thin films, liquid fragmentation and dewetting, the behavior of (nano) particles at interfaces, evaporative lithography and surfactant-driven flows.