The new material was named super-hydrophobic and can be used in a variety of applications for preventing rust, sanitation purposes and anti freezing. Until now, most of the hydrophobic materials were only coated with chemical substances.
The main scientists who invented the water-repellent material are Chunlei Guo and his colleague Anatoliy Vorobyev. They’ve come up with a special kind of laser, one that is able to create powerful and extremely precise pattern techniques. This laser creates very intricate micro and nano scale structures that give materials like metal new and fascinating properties.
The scientists have previously invented a laser technique that could turn all metals black.
Guo explains that this new laser technique can be utilized in order to create surfaces that are multifunctional, not just super water-repellent, but also materials that are extremely absorbent.
Guo added that one of the advantages of this new process is that it creates structures that are part of the material intrinsically, not just a coated surface. This means that the structure will not rub off or wear off after being utilized frequently.
Guo talks about how water-repellent the new material is, saying that it’s so strong that drops of water are bounced off the surface, literally, just like with a rubber ball. The water lands on the surface, bounces up and down and then it gets rolled off the surface. This way the liquid never remains on the surface, so there is no risk of rusting a metal surface or freezing it at a low temperature.
Guo compares the new extra water-repellent material to Teflon, saying that it’s more slippery than Teflon is. Teflon is a non-stick material used mostly for frying pans. But unlike the newly invented material, Teflon is not super-hydrophobic. It doesn’t repel water that efficiently and water drops do not bounce off of it.
The new water-repellent material has caught the attention of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which supported the experiments.
Image Source: voicechronicle
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