Further proof that science is super awesome: two mesmerizing gifs and one beautiful photo of a special new metal, recently created by scientists at the University of Rochester, that’s so extraordinarily hydrophobic that water droplets actually bounce off its surface.
Previously layers of chemicals have been used create surfaces that repel water. This metal has been laser-etched creating a hydrophobic nanostructure on the metal itself. Because they’ve physically altered the actual surface of the metal, the water-repellent properties will not wear off, unlike those chemical coatings.
Their research paper says they made the metals using a “powerful and precise laser-patterning technique that creates an intricate pattern of micro- and nanoscale structures to give the metals their new properties.” According to Chunlei Guo, professor of optics at Rochester the effect is amazing:
"The material is so strongly water-repellent, the water actually gets bounced off. Then it lands on the surface again, gets bounced off again, and then it will just roll off from the surface."
There are all sorts of possible applications for this awesome innovation, including making airplane surfaces that repel water, which means they’ll never get icy, non-stick pans, and waterproof just about anything.
"They are also thinking of applying the technique to create 100-percent efficient water recollection systems in underdeveloped countries and the creation of latrines in areas where water is not abundant enough to allow for effective cleaning."
Click here to learn more about this amazing breakthrough, including videos demonstrating the laser etching technique and possible applications for the altered hydrophobic materials.