Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors
Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > What makes penguin feathers ice-proof

The architecture of Humboldt penguins' feathers make them ice-proof. 
Credit: tatianaput/iStock/Thinkstock
The architecture of Humboldt penguins' feathers make them ice-proof.

Credit: tatianaput/iStock/Thinkstock

Abstract:
Humboldt penguins live in places that dip below freezing in the winter, and despite getting wet, their feathers stay sleek and free of ice. Scientists have now figured out what could make that possible. They report in ACS' Journal of Physical Chemistry C that the key is in the microstructure of penguins' feathers. Based on their findings, the scientists replicated the architecture in a nanofiber membrane that could be developed into an ice-proof material.

What makes penguin feathers ice-proof

Washington, DC | Posted on February 24th, 2016

The range of Humboldt penguins extends from coastal Peru to the tip of southern Chile. Some of these areas can get frigid, and the water the birds swim in is part of a cold ocean current that sweeps up the coast from the Antarctic. Their feathers keep them both warm and ice-free. Scientists had suspected that penguin feathers' ability to easily repel water explained why ice doesn't accumulate on them: Water would slide off before freezing. But research has found that under high humidity or ultra-low temperatures, ice can stick to even superhydrophobic surfaces. So Jingming Wang and colleagues sought another explanation.

The researchers closely examined Humboldt penguin feathers using a scanning electron microscope. They found that the feathers were comprised of a network of barbs, wrinkled barbules and tiny interlocking hooks. In addition to being hydrophobic, this hierarchical architecture with grooved structures is anti-adhesive. Testing showed ice wouldn't stick to it. Mimicking the feathers' microstructure, the researchers developed an icephobic polyimide fiber membrane. They say it could potentially be used in applications such as electrical insulation.

The authors acknowledge funding from the National Research Fund for Fundamental Key Projects, the National Natural Science Foundation, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the 111 Project and the Beijing Higher Education Young Elite Teacher Project.

####

About American Chemical Society
The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 158,000 members, ACS is the world's largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Michael Bernstein

202-872-6042

Katie Cottingham, Ph.D.

301-775-8455

Jingming Wang, D.Sc.
Key Laboratory of Bio-Inspired Smart Interfacial Science and Technology
Ministry of Education
School of Chemistry and Environment
Beihang University
Beijing, China

Copyright © American Chemical Society

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 Links

DOWNLOAD FULL-TEXT ARTICLE - "Icephobicity of Penguins Spheniscus Humboldti and an Artificial Replica of Penguin Feather with Air-Infused Hierarchical Rough Structures"

Related News Press

News and information

New record: 3D-printed optical-electronic integration June 18th, 2019

Can break junction techniques still offer quantitative information at single-molecule level June 18th, 2019

University of Konstanz researchers create uniform-shape polymer nanocrystals: Researchers from the University of Konstanz's CRC 1214 'Anisotropic Particles as Building Blocks: Tailoring Shape, Interactions and Structures' generate uniform-shape nanocrystals using direct polymeriz June 14th, 2019

Small currents for big gains in spintronics: A new low-power magnetic switching component could aid spintronic devices June 14th, 2019

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

New record: 3D-printed optical-electronic integration June 18th, 2019

Can break junction techniques still offer quantitative information at single-molecule level June 18th, 2019

Mysterious Majorana quasiparticle is now closer to being controlled for quantum computing: Princeton researchers detect a robust Majorana quasiparticle and show how it can be turned on and off June 14th, 2019

A molecular glue to overcome cancer drug resistance? Small molecule drug may prevent chemotherapy resistance June 7th, 2019

Possible Futures

New record: 3D-printed optical-electronic integration June 18th, 2019

Can break junction techniques still offer quantitative information at single-molecule level June 18th, 2019

Perfect diamagnetism observation of high-temperature superconductivity in compressed H2S June 14th, 2019

Mysterious Majorana quasiparticle is now closer to being controlled for quantum computing: Princeton researchers detect a robust Majorana quasiparticle and show how it can be turned on and off June 14th, 2019

Discoveries

New record: 3D-printed optical-electronic integration June 18th, 2019

Can break junction techniques still offer quantitative information at single-molecule level June 18th, 2019

Mysterious Majorana quasiparticle is now closer to being controlled for quantum computing: Princeton researchers detect a robust Majorana quasiparticle and show how it can be turned on and off June 14th, 2019

University of Konstanz researchers create uniform-shape polymer nanocrystals: Researchers from the University of Konstanz's CRC 1214 'Anisotropic Particles as Building Blocks: Tailoring Shape, Interactions and Structures' generate uniform-shape nanocrystals using direct polymeriz June 14th, 2019

Materials/Metamaterials

University of Konstanz researchers create uniform-shape polymer nanocrystals: Researchers from the University of Konstanz's CRC 1214 'Anisotropic Particles as Building Blocks: Tailoring Shape, Interactions and Structures' generate uniform-shape nanocrystals using direct polymeriz June 14th, 2019

Laser technique could unlock use of tough material for next-generation electronics: Researchers make graphene tunable, opening up its band gap to a record 2.1 electronvolts May 30th, 2019

Building next gen smart materials with the power of sound May 28th, 2019

ZEN gets $1m grant for graphene-enhanced concrete project May 12th, 2019

Announcements

New record: 3D-printed optical-electronic integration June 18th, 2019

Can break junction techniques still offer quantitative information at single-molecule level June 18th, 2019

University of Konstanz researchers create uniform-shape polymer nanocrystals: Researchers from the University of Konstanz's CRC 1214 'Anisotropic Particles as Building Blocks: Tailoring Shape, Interactions and Structures' generate uniform-shape nanocrystals using direct polymeriz June 14th, 2019

Small currents for big gains in spintronics: A new low-power magnetic switching component could aid spintronic devices June 14th, 2019

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

New record: 3D-printed optical-electronic integration June 18th, 2019

Can break junction techniques still offer quantitative information at single-molecule level June 18th, 2019

Perfect diamagnetism observation of high-temperature superconductivity in compressed H2S June 14th, 2019

University of Konstanz researchers create uniform-shape polymer nanocrystals: Researchers from the University of Konstanz's CRC 1214 'Anisotropic Particles as Building Blocks: Tailoring Shape, Interactions and Structures' generate uniform-shape nanocrystals using direct polymeriz June 14th, 2019

Sports

Collagen nanofibrils in mammalian tissues get stronger with exercise December 14th, 2018

Epoxy compound gets a graphene bump: Rice scientists combine graphene foam, epoxy into tough, conductive composite November 14th, 2018

UVA multidisciplinary engineering team designs technology for smart materials: The invention could lead to devices and manufactured goods, such as fabrics, that can dynamically regulate between thermally insulating and cooling August 17th, 2018

Graphene-based desiccant offers super dry solution to moisture control June 1st, 2018

Nanobiotechnology

DNA origami to scale-up molecular motors June 13th, 2019

A molecular glue to overcome cancer drug resistance? Small molecule drug may prevent chemotherapy resistance June 7th, 2019

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals to Present at Upcoming June 2019 Conferences June 2nd, 2019

Chemists build a better cancer-killing drill: Rice U.-designed molecular motors get an upgrade for activation with near-infrared light May 29th, 2019

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



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project