The first description of the invention I read was a Slashdot post, “New “Hairy” Material Is Almost Perfectly Hydrophobic.”
According to the Science Daily article being quoted, “Water Practically Flies Off ‘Near Perfect’ Hydrophobic Surface That Refuses to Get Wet.” Here are my selections from the Science Daily piece:
“[Inventor, Wolfgang] Sigmund said the UF surface may be the most or among the most water phobic. Close-up photographs of water droplets on dime-sized plastic squares show that the droplets maintain their spherical shape, whether standing still or moving. Droplets bulge down on most other surfaces, dragging a kind of tail as they move. Sigmund said his surface is the first to shuttle droplets with no tail.”
“Also, unlike many water-repelling surfaces, the UF one relies entirely on the microscopic shape and patterns of the material — rather than its composition.”. . .”Sigmund’s surfaces need never slough off dangerous chemicals. Provided the surface material itself is made safe, making it water repellent introduces no new risks.”
“Although he hasn’t published the research yet, Sigmund said a variation of the surface also repels oil, a first for the industry.”
A remarkable photo of a spherical droplet on the artificial surface (below some photomicrographs of spider hair) shows how much it repels water. See it on the original University of Florida, Sigmund Group page, “Hairy Surfaces.”
Take heed, Janitors: Prepare to join the revolution or suffer the consequences!
And you there, with your lathering and scrubbing behavior, take note of the hairy spider glass breakthrough a-coming. It makes me feel cleaner already.