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“Smart” coating for transparent surfaces inspired by lotus leaves


Chinese scientists have used nanoparticles of silica, resembling a raspberry and a cavity-berry, to create transparent water is repellent coatings for self-cleaning glass and other transparent surfaces. A lotus leaf inspired them, well known for its water-repellent properties, which are derived from the finest textured bumps that cover the surface.

Superhydrophobic surfaces, such as the lotus leaf, have outstanding water resistance, which result in the emergence of anti-glare, anti-icing and, of course, anti-corrosion agents. Lotus leaf by its original surface rejects not only water, but also dust, allowing the dream and talk of “smart” materials with properties of self-cleaning.


The principle of self-cleaning is quite simple: the dust stick to the water droplets, the affinity of which is higher than for hydrophobic knobs (see photo). Exactly these hydrophobic textured “bumps” and decided to play with improvised means Chinese. Using hollow silica nanoparticles, a little reminiscent of raspberries, members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences created the glass is clear, smooth, water-repellent coating.

Important for materials in this result is the following: modifying materials with low surface energy, and building on them certain texture, you can “force” the display surface completely uncharacteristic for them wetting properties – as a water repellent, and vice versa. As shown by researchers such surfaces exhibit good fog properties and high transparency, both before and after chemical modification. And it will be especially useful for making absolutely clear windshields with “innate” hydrophobic talents.