A new nanomaterial can remain dry even if immersed in water for several hours.
According to News i and quoting IyaIn 2016, news broke about nanotechnology water-repellent coating that could make any device waterproof. This nanoclay was mostly used at that time to protect electronic devices. Then in 2018, researchers created a safer non-toxic coating that could also make fabrics waterproof or water repellent.
Researchers at the University of Central Florida have now developed a new nanomaterial that repels water and can stay dry even when submerged at a depth of 0 cm underwater.
The team is led by Debashis Chanda, a professor at the University’s Center for Nanotechnology, who claims to have been inspired by the nature and evolution of some plants and biological species to create these new nanomaterials.
He explained in a statement: “Water repellent or hydrophobic properties of nature are tools to protect and self-clean plants and animals against pathogens such as fungi, algae growth and dust accumulation.” We were inspired by the structure of a lotus leaf and combined these nanomaterials based on the molecular crystals of fullerenes.
Fullerenes (C60 and C70) are formed by combining carbon molecules to form a closed cage-like structure. These structures can then be stacked together to form crystals or tall crystals called “fullerites”.
Just pour a drop of gel consisting of fullerates on each surface to create a wonderful hydrophobic state.
The previously reported hydrophobic surfaces did not dry out when immersed in water at a certain depth for more than a few minutes. But it is this feature that makes this new material so innovative and pioneering.
“Even when we immersed these nanomaterials in 60.9 cm of water for several hours, it remained dry,” says Chanda. We even found that it could capture and store gases in the form of plasters underwater.
As such, these new materials have countless applications.
The study is published in the journal Advanced Materials.