Inspired by nature: textured materials to aid industry and military

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National Science Foundation
Date Published: 
Sunday, August 18, 2013
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The lotus leaf has a unique microscopic texture and wax-like coating that enables it to easily repel water. Taking his inspiration from nature, a University of Virginia professor has figured out a way to make metals and plastics that can do virtually the same thing. Mool Gupta, Langley Distinguished Professor in the university's department of electrical and computer engineering, and director of the National Science Foundation's Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for Lasers and Plasmas, has developed a method using high-powered lasers and nanotechnology to create a similar texture that repels water, captures sunlight and prevents the buildup of ice.