‘Magnetic microhairs’ make water run uphill
New material use thousands of nickel microhairs a quarter the size of a human hair to channel fluids in response to magnetic fields
Inspired by small hairs known as cilia that shift back and forth in the human nose to filter out debris and dust, researchers from MIT have created a flexible material that uses thousands of ‘microhairs’ to shed raindrops, even making water flow up vertical walls.
Each of the nickel microhairs is about one-fourth the diameter of a human hair and can be controlled en masse by an external magnetic field.
This allows engineers to control the path that water follows in real time, instantly switching the direction of the hairs and thus the liquid. In fact, the silicone-mounted microhairs can even be used to direct light.
“You could coat this on your car windshield to manipulate rain or sunlight,” graduate student Yangying Zhu said in a press release. “You could filter how much solar radiation you want coming in, and also shed raindrops.”
Zhu and her fellow researchers say that it’s not just water and sunlight that the microhairs can direct, and say that the material could even be used in medical implants to direct the flow of cells through tiny microchannels.
Life & Style blogs
The high-powered dream team trying to create a stiletto shoe as comfy as a trainer
Apple MacBook review: preposterously thin and extravagantly attractive, this is the best-designed laptop Apple has ever made
How Old Do I Look: Microsoft’s super advanced age-guessing app is terrible at guessing how old celebrities are, too
UK skin cancer statistics 'shocking' as sun-worshippers ignore the dangers of exposure
What do the emoji on Snapchat mean?
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
Indonesia executions live: 'Hysterical' families heard prisoners being shot dead by firing squad
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
- 1 Which country would be hardest to invade?
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 3 Indonesia executions: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford will refuse to wear a blindfold when she faces firing squad
- 4 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 5 Royal baby girl born: Duchess of Cambridge's second child will be a princess thanks to Queen
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As your knowledge grows you wil...
£40000 - £48000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Engineer - Linux ...
£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of Cloud ...