Recently, studies have shown that femtosecond laser surface processing can produce surface structures that can significantly modify optical or wetting properties of metals. However, the metal blackening and wetting effect were each demonstrated individually. This have open the way to Physicists in the US to create metal surfaces that repel water to the extent that droplets bounce away.
The team, from the University of Rochester in New York, reported their findings in the Journal of Applied Physics.
Many efforts to produce such “superhydrophobic” surfaces have relied on coatings, but this approach permanently changes the shape of the metal’s surface.
Scientists at the University of Rochester have used lasers to transform metals into extremely water repellent, or super-hydrophobic, materials without the need for temporary coatings.
Super-hydrophobic materials are desirable for a number of applications such as rust prevention, anti-icing, or even in sanitation uses. However, as Rochester’s Chunlei Guo explains, most current hydrophobic materials rely on chemical coatings.