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 |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )
Related News Stories -
3D Printed Damascus Steel Now Possible
'... lined with durite, that strange close-packed laboratory product.' - Robert Heinlein, 1939.
3D Printing Of Metallic Glass
Draw Circuits With Conductive Ink
'It's rewiring things... squeezing silver toothpaste in a ribbon along the printed circuitry.'
How To Encode The 'Memory' Of Materials
'Just jar it, and it falls into that structure like a rubber figure returning to shape.' - Samuel R. Delany, 1966.
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.
Gyroscopic Median-Straddling Mass Transit Vehicles
'It was among these leviathans that the little gyrocar was daring to thrust its puny self...'
Bigrating Laser Beam-Riding Light Sail Is Self-Correcting
'That sail will be twenty thousand miles at the wide part.'
ISS Astronauts Test Estee Lauder 'Advanced Night Repair' Skin Serum
'Out in the New Moon, just ask for what you want...'
LG Wing Twisting Smartphone Might Be Fun
'A polycarbon screen unfurled...'
Mushroom Coffin Returns You To Nature, Naturally
'She touched the leaf. She was wanted.'
Will ATT Offer Ad-Subsidized Cellphone Service
'For long-distance calls the ratio of commercial to conversation was as high as 10 to 1...'
Gyro-X Self-Balancing Two-Wheeler Car
'Indeed, the gyrocar was a sight to make a man look twice.'
Beat Covid-19 With AIR By MicroClimate - At Last I Get My PAPR
More than just a bubble.
Mi TV LUX Transparent Edition OLED TV
The Look of Things To Come.
Metalenses Now Reconfigurable With Liquid Crystal
'Hufhuf oil held in static tension...'
'Alexa For Residential' A Landlord's Dream (Tenant's Nightmare?)
'...unseen mechanical entities... that are in our very midst. One of them following each of us.'
Gather Ye Moonrocks While Ye May
'The law of filing on newly discovered asteroids was definite.'
InMotion V11 Electric Unicycle Gets Air (Video)
'A tumblebug does not give a man dignity...'
Rid Thyself Of Ads On The Newsbox
'Can't we scramble that commercial?'
A.I. Jesus Proclaims Machine Gospel
'... he crossed the waiting room to the Padre booth; inside he put a dime into the slot and dialed at random.'
Google's Remixed 'Your News Update' ala Heinlein, Clarke, Pohl
'Perhaps we had better use the soundtrack and let it hunt.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories