Lab automation systems are used in all types of research, from life science sample prep to environmental testing and monitoring and materials processing and purification. The instrumentation used in these automated applications is similarly diverse, including all manner of lab instrumentation and equipment. Researchers are finding ways, and manufacturers are creating devices, to automate any application or procedure that takes an excessive amount of time to perform manually or obtain accurate results.
Scientists are describing a revolutionary new way to use sunlight to produce steam and other vapors without heating an entire container of fluid to the boiling point. The advance, reported in the American Chemical Society (ACS) journal ACS Nano, has potential applications, especially in the poverty-stricken areas of the developing world, that include inexpensive, compact devices for purification of drinking water, sterilization of medical instruments and sanitizing sewage.