Posted On Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 09:28:51 AM
Scientists at the University of Twente’s MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology have developed a new material that is not only extremely water-repellent but also extremely oil-repellent. It contains minuscule pillars which retain droplets.
What makes the material unique is that the droplets stay on top even when they evaporate (slowly getting smaller). This opens the way to such things as smartphone screens that really cannot get dirty.
The study appears in the scientific journal Soft Matter. Water-repellent surfaces can be used as a coating for windows, obviating the need to clean them ever again.
These surfaces have an orderly arrangement of tiny pillars less than one-hundredth of a millimetre high (similar to a bed of nails but on an extremely small scale).
Water droplets stay on the tips of the pillars, retaining the shape of perfectly round tiny pearls. As a result they can roll off the surface like marbles, taking all the dirt with them.