In an advance toward glass that remains clear under the harshest of conditions, scientists are reporting development of a new water-repellant coating that resists both fogging and frosting. Their research on the coating, which could have uses ranging from automobile windshields to camera lenses, appears in the journal ACS Nano.
Michael F. Rubner, Robert E. Cohen and colleagues point out that anti-fogging coatings that absorb water have been the focus of attention lately because of their ability to reduce light scattering and the resultant distortion caused by condensation. However, under extreme fogging conditions, these surfaces may frost and become foggy. They set out to make a better coating to withstand the aggressive conditions.
Their report describes development and testing of a new coating that rapidly absorbs water molecules that cannot freeze in the coating. At the same time, the coating has a water-repelling or hydrophobic effect to larger water droplets. The hydrophobic character means that water droplets do not spread extensively on the coating but essentially remain as flattened droplets.
It is well known that dogs have a better sense of smell than humans. For years, researchers have been trying to develop an artificial detector that is just as good as a canine's nose. Now, one group reports in ACS Nano that they were able to mimic a dog's sniffer with graphene-based nanoscr ... more
In nature, colors can serve as a form of communication, but they can also hide animals and plants, camouflaging them from sight. Researchers now report that they have developed polymers that can better mimic nature's color-changing abilities than existing polymers. They say the materials co ... more
Some animals, such as geckos, can easily climb up walls and across ceilings. But currently, no material exists that allows everyday people to scale walls or transverse ceilings as effortlessly. Now, scientists report a dry adhesive that could someday make it easier to defy gravity.
Geckos ... more
Whether you sop it up with bread or use it to boost your cooking, olive oil is awesome. But a lot of chemistry goes on in that bottle that can make or break a product. Take the “extra virgin” standard: Chemistry tells us that a higher free-fatty-acid content leads to a lower grade, less tas ... more
One day, the tiny robot you see here could help clean up contaminated water. In places where potable sources are scarce, they can destroy disease-causing bacteria in its path and unlike conventional disinfectants, the microbots can be removed easily with a magnet. more
The products we use every day leave behind chemical footprints. Learn how and why researchers are now studying those trails. Mass spectrometry is helping researchers learn more about our interactions with the everyday chemicals we use, such as DEET, caffeine, even medications. In this episo ... more