GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Engineering researchers have crafted a flat surface that refuses to get wet. Water droplets skitter across it like ball bearings tossed on ice.
The inspiration? Not wax. Not glass. Not even Teflon.
Instead, University of Florida engineers have achieved what they label in a new paper a "nearly perfect hydrophobic interface" by reproducing, on small bits of flat plastic, the shape and patterns of the minute hairs that grow on the bodies of spiders.