Lasers Create Metal With Extreme Water Repellent Properties
Water resistant smartphones and tablets are becoming more commonplace but that’s nothing compared to these metals created at the University of Rochester. Using lasers, researchers at the university have managed to induce ‘hydrophobic’ properties in metals which means that water slides right off and won’t even sit on top of the metal. Drop a drip from a height and it will even ‘bounce’ off of it.
“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,” said Guo, professor of optics in the University’s Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
“In these regions, collecting rain water is vital and using super-hydrophobic materials could increase the efficiency without the need to use large funnels with high-pitched angles to prevent water from sticking to the surface,” says Guo. “A second application could be creating latrines that are cleaner and healthier to use.”
Latrines are a challenge to keep clean in places with little water. By incorporating super-hydrophobic materials, a latrine could remain clean without the need for water flushing.
The same group previously developed ‘hydrophilic’ water which attracted water to such a degree that it could even move uphill.
Imagine the possible applications! Okay, we can’t think of anything either… but presumably there are many applications!