This Material Is Capable Of Making Water Defy Gravity, Run Uphill
The research comes from MIT and the team foresees the use of this material in creating glare-resistant windows and clothing that will resist rain. The micro-hair is made of nickel and has a height of 70 microns and a width of 25 microns. Comparing it to a human hair reveals that it is about 1/4th the diameter of a human hair. The research team made an assembly of micro-hair that was crafted onto an elastic and transparent layer of silicone.
During the test phase it was discovered that the material, magnetically activated, was also able to direct the flow of light and not just fluid. According to the research team, this research could very well provide a way to making waterproofing and anti-glare products. According to Yangying Zhu, graduate student in MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering; ‘You could coat this on your car windshield to manipulate rain or sunlight. So you could filter how much solar radiation you want coming in, and also shed raindrops. This is an opportunity for the future.’
According to Ms Zhu, the inspiration for this research came from nature. In words of Ms Zhu; ‘We see these dynamic structures a lot in nature. So we thought, ‘What if we could engineer microstructures, and make them dynamic?’ This would expand the functionality of surfaces.’ She also said that more complex magnetic fields could be designed and incorporated to come up with more elaborate tilting patterns. The flexibility of the material also allows for it to be incorporated into fabric.
Miss Wang said; ‘A nice thing about this substrate is that you can attach it to something with interesting contours. Or, depending on how you design the magnetic field, you could get the pillars to close in like a flower. You could do a lot of things with the same platform.’