Researchers say structures may be used in windows to wick away moisture.
MIT engineers have fabricated a new elastic material coated with microscopic, hairlike structures that tilt in response to a magnetic field. Depending on the field’s orientation, the microhairs can tilt to form a path through which fluid can flow; the material can even direct water upward, against gravity.
Each microhair, made of nickel, is about 70 microns high and 25 microns wide — about one-fourth the diameter of a human hair. The researchers fabricated an array of the microhairs onto an elastic, transparent layer of silicone.
In experiments, the magnetically activated material directed not just the flow of fluid, but also light — much as window blinds tilt to filter the sun. Researchers say the work could lead to waterproofing and anti-glare applications, such as “smart windows” for buildings and cars.
“You could coat this on your car windshield to manipulate rain or sunlight,” says Yangying Zhu, a graduate student in MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. “So you could filter how much solar radiation you want coming in, and also shed raindrops. This is an opportunity for the future.”
In the near term, the material could also be embedded in lab-on-a-chip devices to magnetically direct the flow of cells and other biological material through a diagnostic chip’s microchannels.
The Latest on: Microhairs
via Google News
The Latest on: Microhairs
- Gecko-inspired adhesive tape finally scales to marketon December 21, 2015 at 4:00 pm
The team took inspiration from the millions of microscopic hairs covering the gecko's feet and legs The team had some success in copying this effect with setae-inspired elastic microhairs applied ...
- The role of random nanostructures for the omnidirectional anti-reflection properties of the glasswing butterflyon April 21, 2015 at 5:00 pm
To reveal any optical effect of the microhairs on the reflection, we removed them by gently pressing the adhesive tape to the wing and stripping it carefully. Afterwards, we analysed this sample ...
- Magnetic field causes a hairy moment for uphill wateron July 31, 2014 at 5:00 pm
Depending on the field’s orientation, the nickel microhairs can tilt to form a path through which fluid can flow. MIT claims the material can even direct water upward, against gravity. The researchers ...
- Beetle biomimicry could allow robots to climb vertical glass wallson November 2, 2006 at 4:00 pm
The researchers say the technology, which uses microhairs “reminiscent of tiny mushrooms”, could someday allow robots to climb vertical glass walls and refrigerator magnets to be replaced by ...
via Bing News