Jumping Droplets

From butterfly wings to lotus leaves, many surfaces in nature are shaped to repel water. This typically means roughness on the scale of tens of nanometers, which helps trap air between water and the surface. Droplets can still form on these surfaces, but when they merge, the sudden excess of surface energy sends the coalesced droplet flying. With enough height, the tiny droplet can catch the wind and get carried away. It’s like a natural anti-fogging mechanism, and it’s one that engineers are keen to understand and replicate. (Image and research credit: P. Lecointre et al.)

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