Researchers from the University of Colorado at Boulder have succeeded in building microscopic fans that will fit on the head of a pin. Using a complex fabrication technique, they have created operating fans with eight blades less than half a millimeter long. A scratch plate and silicon base are connected to an alternating power supply and the difference in electrical potential between the plate and the base produces cycling electrostatic forces, pulling the scratch plate up and down. Though practical applications are far away, the fans hold the promise of self-cooling computer components, pumps for chemical lab-on-a-chips, and even propulsion devices.
Read the source article at newscientist.com.