Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory investigated the effects of differently shaped, nanoscale textures on a material's ability to force water droplets to roll off without wetting its surface. The findings are highly relevant for a broad range of applications where water-resistance is important, including power generation and transportation. The procedure for creating the superhydrophobic nanostructured surfaces, developed in collaboration with scientists at Brookhaven's Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN), takes advantage of the tendency of "block copolymer" materials to spontaneously self-organize through a mechanism known as microphase separation. The self-assembly process results in polymer thin films with highly uniform, tunable dimensions of 20 nanometers or smaller.
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