Scientists using butterfly wings to develop self-cleaning windows

December 10th, 2008 - 5:50 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, Dec 10 (ANI): French scientists are trying to develop self-cleaning windows and windshields with the help of butterfly wings.

Butterfly wings and lotus leaves can repel water with ease because of the microstructures on their surface.

The waffle-like structures found on butterfly wings can make it difficult for water droplets to spread out.

In a bid to develop self-cleaning windows and windshields, Christophe Peroz at the French National Centre for Scientific Research in Aubervilliers has developed a quicker and cheaper technique to reproduce the microstructures on butterfly wings, which repel water and dirt.

The technique involves pouring a silicon-based polymer liquid over an actual wing or leaf and leaving it to dry, reports

They then peeled off the solid polymer and used it as a mould for methyltriethoxysilane (MTEOS) - an agent used in glass-making.

It can be changed from a liquid to a gel by spinning it. The MTEOS is later poured onto the mould and spun, forming a 900-nanometre-thick film.

Many such films can be combined to create a large water-repellent surface for a window. (ANI)

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