Lotus Effect: Vibrations and Superhydrophobic Behavior

Biology, Chemistry, Physics
[caption id="attachment_9623" align="alignright" width="480"] The lotus leaf is superhydrophobic and self-cleaning.[/caption] Superhydrophobic? What's that? A word in the Mary Poppins musical? There is much interest in a behavior of the lotus plant. It is the ability to shed water completely and take surface detritus along with it. This superhydrophobic property had been observed in nature. But at first it could not duplicated in the lab. In that setting, the leaves were wet. Superhydrophobic: But Not In the Lab? After some time, it was found even wetted leaves would produce the effect in the presence of vibrations, such as those from a stereo speaker. This was evidence energy, usually vibratory energy, was required. It lifts water out of the spaces between the cone-like waxy protrusions found on the surface. This property…
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