Superhydrophobicity is one of most important interfacial properties between solids and liquids.
SHI Yanlong and his group from the College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Key laboratory of Hexi Corridor Resources Utilization of Gansu Universities, Hexi University investigated the superhydrophobicity of the water boatman’s hind wings. The study showed that superhydrophobicity plays a crucial role in the water boatman’s swimming, balance, and breathing in water, and in its escape ability from water area under unfavorable conditions. Their work, entitled “Investigation of superhydrophobicity on water boatman’s hind wings”, was published in the Chinese Science Bulletin 2012, Vol 57 (14).
Recently, studies of superhydrophobicity have attracted much interest because of its potential practical applications. In nature, lotus leaves, water-striders‘ legs, and some insects’ wings exhibit perfect superhydrophobicity. Inspired by these superhydrophobic characteristics within living organisms, scientists have invented many ways to fabricate artificial superhydrophobic materials. Superhydrophobic surfaces are commonly constructed either by creating micro/nanostructures on hydrophobic substrates or by chemically modifying micro/nanostructured surfaces with materials of low surface free energy.
Research on superhydrophobicity has seldom focused on insects that live in water. In this report, the authors investigated the water-dwelling water boatman, which belongs to the Corixidae family of the order Hemiptera, suborder Heteroptera. The water boatman can swim freely and breathe in water. The study showed that the superhydrophobicity of the water boatman’s hind wings plays a crucial role in its swimming, breathing, and balance, as well as its ability to escape from the water surface under unfavorable conditions.
via The Cutting Edge News – Shi Yanlong
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