Nature can be an incredible source of inspiration. Just ask the researchers at Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, who took a look at the beautiful and carnivorous pitcher plant and found inspiration for making super glass. The coating of the pitcher plant is so slick that it repels just about everything, including honey. The researchers are working on applying the coating to glass to create everything from self-cleaning windows to fog-free eyeglasses.
The pitcher plant is coated in a naturally slippery surface that makes insects slide right in to the plants waiting digestive liquid. This coating is so slippery that repels water, honey, oil and resists bacteria and ice formation. So researchers studied this coating and, building on top of a previously-invented technology called Slippery Liquid-Infused Porous Surfaces (SLIP), created a coating that can be applied to glass. This new coating is clearer and more durable than SLIP and much easier to apply.
Researchers are still tweaking the technology, but it will not only prevent water, oil or octane from sticking to the surface, but it can also prevent fog from forming in glass. That means that systems that need to remain frost-free, like airplanes, power lines and cooling systems, could be kept clear of frost. Other applications could include coating solar-panels to create an improved panel, windows that would stay clean indefinitely, glasses that would stay smudge-free and more difficult to break, and medical diagnostic devices.
via Clean Technica