The lotus - a flowering wetland plant native to Asia - may not at first glance be of interest to the nanotechnologist. But researchers at German chemical company BASF are developing a spray-on coating that mimics the way lotus leaves repel water droplets and particles of dirt. The story is reported on nanotechweb.org, the Institute of Physics’ global portal for nanotechnology.
The leaves of Lotus plants are coated with minute wax crystals around 1 nm in diameter which repel water, droplets falling onto them bead up and, if the surface slopes slightly, will roll off. As a result, the surfaces stay dry even during a heavy shower. What’s more, the droplets pick up small particles of dirt as they roll, so that the lotus leaves are ‘self-cleaning’.
At the nanoscale rough surfaces are more effective in repelling water than smooth ones as there is less contact between water and solid. This rough structure is also essential to the self-cleaning effect - on a smooth surface, water droplets slide rather than roll and do not pick up dirt particles to the same extent.
Michelle Cain | alfa
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Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
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In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
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A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
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