Parting the waters, molecule by molecule

Researchers make a tiny sponge for soaking up the tiniest type of water.

heavy water molecules in red and white and light water molecules in red and yellow passing through a series of gates with dragonflies at each pinch point, the heavy water passes through more easily
Incorporating dragonfly-shaped gate molecules into the material makes it far more efficient to separate water from heavy water, which has been difficult to separate due to their similar properties. Credit: Mindy Takamiya/Kyoto University iCeMS