Mother Knows Best!
|Copying the ideas of others is usually frowned upon, but when it comes to the work of Mother Nature, scientists are finding they can use nature as a template. Nature is skilled at fabricating organic structures at the nano scale. Best and most known example of a self cleaning surface is the so called Lotus effect. Lotus leaves in particular have the unique ability to avoid getting dirty. (Discovered by Botanists Wilhelm Barthlott and Christoph Neinhuis from the University of Bonn in Germany)
Lotus blossoms (the easiest to clean) are coated with tiny hydrophobic particles. When water contacts these particles, it does not wet the leaves. Instead, it simply rolls off, taking with it any dirt in its path.
To transfer the Lotus-Effect into coatings, it is necessary to create a hydrophobic surface with very low surface tension, along with the appropriate nano-structure. The nano particles have self-assembly properties. The particles self-assemble into a very tiny nanoscopic mesh which covers the surface of the substrate. Due to the technology it is possible to create mono layer treatments, only one nanoparticle thick!
Utilizing this technology, it is possible to create products and substrate properties with new and unseen smart surfaces.