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Home > News > Nanotechnology's biggest stories of 2008

December 27th, 2008

Nanotechnology's biggest stories of 2008

Abstract:
When you get down to scales of a billionth of a metre, even the simplest, best-known materials can take on surprising new properties. Strength, adhesion and absorption can all be multiplied manyfold if you just find the right nanoscale structure. And, in 2008, many engineers did.

Tangled manganese-oxide nanowires were shaped into a kind of paper tissue that guzzles up oil spills without absorbing a drop of water. While a different nano-textured pattern that can be applied to any fabric proved able to make cloth unwettable, even emerging dry after two months underwater (see image, right).

A material that mimics nanostructures found on that marvel of stickiness - a gecko's foot - is so successful it is up to 10 times as adhesive as the real thing. See an image of the material side by side with a real gecko's foot.

Source:
newscientist.com

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