Nanotechnology Now







Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Discovery Inspired by nature: textured materials to aid industry and military: Innovation Corps team developed metals and plastic that repel water, capture sunlight and prevent ice build-up

Mool Gupta received one of the first NSF Innovation Corps awards.

Credit: University of Virginia
Mool Gupta received one of the first NSF Innovation Corps awards.

Credit: University of Virginia

Abstract:
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.

Discovery Inspired by nature: textured materials to aid industry and military: Innovation Corps team developed metals and plastic that repel water, capture sunlight and prevent ice build-up

Arlington, VA | Posted on August 19th, 2013

Mool Gupta, Langley Distinguished Professor in the university's department of electrical and computer engineering, and director of the National Science Foundation's (NSF) 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.

These textured materials can be used over large areas and potentially could have important applications in products where ice poses a danger, for example, in aviation, the automobile industry, the military, in protecting communication towers, blades that generate wind energy, bridges, roofs, ships, satellite dishes, and even snowboards.

In commercial and military aviation, for example, these materials could improve airline safety by making current de-icing procedures, which include scraping and applying chemicals, such as glycol, to the wings, unnecessary.

For residents in the frigid northeast, many of whom rely on satellite systems, "it could mean they won't lose their signal, and they won't have to go outside with a hammer and chisel and break off the ice," Gupta says.

The materials' ability to trap sunlight also could enhance the performance of solar cells.

Gupta and his research team first made a piece of textured metal that serves as a mold to mass-produce many pieces of plastic with the same micro-texture. The replication process is similar to the one used in manufacturing compact discs. The difference, of course, is that the CD master mold contains specific information, like a voice, whereas, "in our case we are not writing any information, we are creating a micro-texture," Gupta says.

"You create one piece of metal that has the texture," Gupta adds. "For multiple pieces of plastic with the texture, you use the one master made of metal to stamp out multiple pieces. Thus, whatever features are in your master are replicated in the special plastic. Once we create that texture, if you put a drop of water on the texture, the water rolls down and doesn't stick to it, just like a lotus leaf. We have created a human-made structure that repels water, just like the lotus leaf."

The process of making the metal with the special texture works like this: the scientists take high-powered lasers, with energy beams 20 million times higher than that of a laser pointer, for example, and focus the beams on a metal surface. The metal absorbs the laser light and heats to a melting temperature of about 1200 degrees Centigrade, or higher, a process that rearranges the surface material to form a microtexture.

"All of this happens in less than 0.1 millionth of a second," Gupta says. "The microtexture is self-organized. By scanning the focused laser beam, we achieve a large area of microtexture. The produced microtexture is used as a stamper to replicate microtexture in polymers. The stamper can be used many, many times, allowing a low cost manufacturing process. The generated microtextured polymer surface shows very high water repellency."

In the fall of 2011, Gupta was among the first group of scientists to receive a $50,000 NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps) award, which supports a set of activities and programs that prepare scientists and engineers to extend their focus beyond the laboratory into the commercial world.

Such results may be translated through I-Corps into technologies with near-term benefits for the economy and society. It is a public-private partnership program that teaches grantees to identify valuable product opportunities that can emerge from academic research, and offers entrepreneurship training to faculty and student participants.

The other project members are Paul Caffrey, a doctoral candidate under Gupta's supervision, and Martin Skelly of Charleston, S.C., a veteran of banking in the former Soviet Union who serves as business mentor and is involved in new business investments.

The team participated in a three-day entrepreneurship workshop at Stanford University run by entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley. "We are still pursuing the commercial potential," Gupta says. "The idea is to look at what market can use this technology, how big the market is, and how long it will take to get into it."
-- Marlene Cimons, National Science Foundation

####

About National Science Foundation
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 "to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…" With an annual budget of about $7.0 billion (FY 2012), we are the funding source for approximately 20 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America's colleges and universities. In many fields such as mathematics, computer science and the social sciences, NSF is the major source of federal backing.

For more information, please click here

Copyright © National Science Foundation

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Quantum teleportation on a chip: A significant step towards ultra-high speed quantum computers April 1st, 2015

So, near and yet so far: Stable HGNs for Raman April 1st, 2015

Two-dimensional dirac materials: Structure, properties, and rarity April 1st, 2015

3-D neural structure guided with biocompatible nanofiber scaffolds and hydrogels April 1st, 2015

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Mind the gap: Nanoscale speed bump could regulate plasmons for high-speed data flow April 1st, 2015

Cooling massive objects to the quantum ground state April 1st, 2015

Two-dimensional dirac materials: Structure, properties, and rarity April 1st, 2015

Rutgers, NIST physicists report technology with potential for sub-micron optical switches March 31st, 2015

Discoveries

Mind the gap: Nanoscale speed bump could regulate plasmons for high-speed data flow April 1st, 2015

Cooling massive objects to the quantum ground state April 1st, 2015

A novel way to apply drugs to dental plaque Nanoparticles release drugs to reduce tooth decay April 1st, 2015

Quantum teleportation on a chip: A significant step towards ultra-high speed quantum computers April 1st, 2015

Materials/Metamaterials

Wrapping carbon nanotubes in polymers enhances their performance: Scientists at Japan's Kyushu University say polymer-wrapped carbon nanotubes hold much promise in biotechnology and energy applications March 30th, 2015

DFG to Establish One Clinical Research Unit and Five Research Units: New Projects to Investigate Complications in Pregnancy, Particle Physics, Nanoparticles, Implants and Transport Planning / Approximately 13 Million Euros in Funding for an Initial Three-Year Period March 28th, 2015

Chemists make new silicon-based nanomaterials March 27th, 2015

UT Dallas engineers twist nanofibers to create structures tougher than bulletproof vests March 27th, 2015

Announcements

Quantum teleportation on a chip: A significant step towards ultra-high speed quantum computers April 1st, 2015

So, near and yet so far: Stable HGNs for Raman April 1st, 2015

Two-dimensional dirac materials: Structure, properties, and rarity April 1st, 2015

3-D neural structure guided with biocompatible nanofiber scaffolds and hydrogels April 1st, 2015

Military

Cooling massive objects to the quantum ground state April 1st, 2015

Nanoscale worms provide new route to nano-necklace structures March 29th, 2015

UT Dallas engineers twist nanofibers to create structures tougher than bulletproof vests March 27th, 2015

Novel nanoparticle therapy promotes wound healing March 27th, 2015

Energy

Wrapping carbon nanotubes in polymers enhances their performance: Scientists at Japan's Kyushu University say polymer-wrapped carbon nanotubes hold much promise in biotechnology and energy applications March 30th, 2015

Solving molybdenum disulfide's 'thin' problem: Research team increases material's light emission by twelve times March 29th, 2015

SUNY Poly & M+W Make Major Announcement: Major Expansion To Include M+W Owned Gehrlicher Solar America Corporation That Will Create up to 400 Jobs to Develop Solar Power Plants at SUNY Poly Sites Across New York State March 26th, 2015

Hong Kong Investors Bullish on Dais Analytic Invest $5.75M, Provide $60M Contract, and Create New Joint Venture Company March 26th, 2015

Automotive/Transportation

Clean energy future: New cheap and efficient electrode for splitting water March 18th, 2015

Imperfect graphene opens door to better fuel cells: Membrane could lead to fast-charging batteries for transportation March 18th, 2015

Researchers synthesize new thin-film material for use in fuel cells: Article in the journal APL Materials shows how to grow Bi2Pt2O7 pyrochlore, potentially a more effective cathode for future fuel cells March 10th, 2015

Glass coating improves battery performance: To improve lithium-sulfur batteries, researchers added glass cage-like coating and graphene oxide March 2nd, 2015

Sports

Researchers use nanotechnology to engineer ACL replacements: Researchers created a tri-component, synthetic graft for reconstructing torn anterior cruciate ligaments December 30th, 2014

‘Small’ transformation yields big changes September 16th, 2014

CEA-Leti and CORIMA Team up on Force Sensors Integrated in Cycle Wheels to Measure Rider Power Output June 26th, 2014

‘Four!' Heads Up, Wide Use of More Flexible Metallic Glass Coming Your Way: Advances in Glass Alloys Lead to Strength, Flexibility March 4th, 2014

Aerospace/Space

Iranian Researchers Present Model to Determine Dynamic Behavior of Nanostructures March 24th, 2015

Engineers create chameleon-like artificial 'skin' that shifts color on demand March 12th, 2015

Anousheh Ansari Wins the National Space Society's Space Pioneer Award for "Service to the Space Community" March 5th, 2015

Launch of the Alliance for Space Development March 1st, 2015

Industrial

Industrial Nanotech, Inc. Announces Next Large Order from the Oil and Gas Industry March 26th, 2015

Young NTU Singapore spin-off clinches S$4.3 million joint venture with Chinese commercial giant March 23rd, 2015

Nanodevice Invented in Iran to Detect Hydrogen Sulfide in Oil, Gas Industry March 20th, 2015

Industrial Production of Nano-Based PVC Products in Iran March 20th, 2015

Photonics/Optics/Lasers

Quantum teleportation on a chip: A significant step towards ultra-high speed quantum computers April 1st, 2015

Light-powered gyroscope is world's smallest: Promises a powerful spin on navigation April 1st, 2015

Rutgers, NIST physicists report technology with potential for sub-micron optical switches March 31st, 2015

Super sensitive measurement of magnetic fields March 31st, 2015

Construction

Effect of Carbon Nanotubes on Properties of Cement Composites Studied in Iran March 23rd, 2015

Engineers create chameleon-like artificial 'skin' that shifts color on demand March 12th, 2015

Nanoparticles Increase Durability of Concrete Decorations in Cold Areas January 26th, 2015

Transparent artificial nacre: A brick wall at the nanoscale January 22nd, 2015

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More










ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2015 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE