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September 3, 2010

Lotus flower mystery

Mystery how the lotus leaf superhidrofob, stay dry, even floating on the water, have been solved by scientists in China.The top of a floating lotus leaf is an example of hydrophobic surface that is already known, that shed water that falls on it, and this principle has been used as a model for technology such as window cleaning itself automatically.

Lotus leaf is covered by a rough surface which has a waxy bumps, which causes water to form clumps and slipped down from the leaves. Now, Lei Jiang of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing and his colleagues, have discovered why, though floating on the water, no less third part that flows into the leaf.

Electron microscope showed that, near the tip of the leaf, waxy bumps replaced by a smooth surface consisting of the folds and grooves, so as to prevent backflow of water droplets. This means that the leaves are 50% more resistant to immersion than a leaf model that has a smooth surface.

Jiang said,,, like the lotus leaf surface which has become an inspiration to make the surfaces superhidrofob, what was found at the perimeter of this leaf can be used as a model in applications, such as tubes or channels mikrofluida, which require or rejection outflow direction water flow. 

Abraham Marmur, a professor of science and technology of water at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, said that "researchers should be rewarded, upon discovery that has opened a new aspect of a lotus leaf."  

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