Water-Repellent 'Bumpy' Glass Mimics Lotus Leaves

The lotus is a good model for a water-repellent surface; the leaves are waxy and covered with tiny bumps that make water roll off. Surfaces like that of ordinary glass are naturally wettable; when water is poured on, its surface tension is reduced so it spreads. On a car windshield, this effect can distort vision; also, material dissolved in the water will remain on the glass when the water evaporates, making the glass dirty.

Bharat Bhushan is using the lotus leaf solution to create water-repellent and friction-free surfaces. When examined closely, lotus leaves are bumpy (see micrograph below). The bumps are smaller than a droplet of water, and much closer together; they don't puncture the droplet, which rolls off without wetting the surface


(From Bumpy Glass Self-Cleaning Windows)

Drivers can spray special coatings onto windshields that make the surface water-repellent, but the coatings wear off. If the water-repellent characteristic can be built into the glass itself, it will last for the life of the glass. Dr. Bhushan is also hopeful that this technique can work to make moving parts in micromachines effectively frictionless.

In Frank Herbert's 1965 novel Dune, many technological details are provided about the Fremen culture of the planet. Dune has no surface water; all water is precious and is carefully measured and stored.

A splashing sounded on her left. She looked down the shadowy line of Fremen, saw Stilgar with Paul standing beside him and the watermasters emptying their load into the pool through a flowmeter. The meter was a round gray eye above the pool's rim. She saw its glowing pointer move as the water flowed through it, saw the pointer stop at thirty-three liters, seven and three-thirty-seconds drachms.

Superb accuracy in water measurement, Jessica thought. And she noted that the walls of the meter trough held no trace of moisture after the water's passage. The water flowed off those walls without binding tension. She saw a profound clue to Fremen technology in the simple fact: they were perfectionists.

Read the original press release Bumpy glass could lead to self-cleaning windows, slik micromachines.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 1/30/2005)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )

Related News Stories - (" Material ")

Surface Film Repels All Bacteria
'Most gentlemen's and ladies' gloves nowadays were constructed of infinitesimal fabricules that knew how to eject dirt...'- Neal Stephenson, 1995

Frictionless Toilet Could Save 140 Billion Liters Of Water
'The bowl was a frictionless surface...' Niven and Pournelle, 1974.

Osmiridium Sounds Like Science Fiction (But It's Not!)
I can't resist science-fictional elements. Especially when they're real.

'Metallic Wood' Strong Like Titanium, Floats In Water
'A metal... light as cork and stronger than steel...' - Edgar Rice Burroughs, 1929.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Surface Film Repels All Bacteria
'Most gentlemen's and ladies' gloves nowadays were constructed of infinitesimal fabricules that knew how to eject dirt...'

Chinese Steal American Seeds From Our Fields
'The Iszic maintain a jealously guarded monopoly...'

Rise Of Skywalker Could Trigger Epileptic Seizures
'... then the screen started to flicker. I stared at it for a while.'

Singing Ringing Tree Wind-Powered Sculpture
'It was like no music Dirk had ever heard, It was eerie and wild...'

Extremophile Microbe Loves Space Rocks
'... designed for rooting in the metal make-up of the asteroids for vital elements.'

Magic Mushroom Nose Spray From Silo Wellness
'I don't need help... that's not my diagnosis!'

CAV-X Supercavitating Ammo Deadly Underwater
'...in the midst of this fluid, which is very dense compared with the atmosphere, shots could not go far.'

Space Domes Over-rated? Science Fiction Authors Have Answers
'This was to be roofed over, sealed, and an atmosphere provided...'

Injectable Magnetic Fluid Slows Bleeding, Aids Magneto
'There's something different about you.'

Autonomous Wheelchairs Improve Airport Mobility
'Noiselessly, on rubber-tired wheels, they journeyed down the long aisles...'

HVSD, Kitty Hawk's Electric Plane
Very quiet commuter plane offers VTOL service.

Frictionless Toilet Could Save 140 Billion Liters Of Water
'The bowl was a frictionless surface...'

Viisights AI Hones Video Surveillance
'The math boys worked it out...'

Cybertruck The Solar-Powered Steel Tortoise
'It drew its power from... sunpower screens on its low curved roof.'

Road Noise Charges Electric Cars With Peugeot Piezoelectric Billboard
''... major cities of Earth have free electrical power conveniently processed from their own noise.'

Unsinkable Metal Latest Gates Obsession
'A metal... light as cork.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.