Steel foil coated with nanowires does backflips out of water

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Stainless steel foil that normally sinks in water has been made so water-repellent that not only is it unsinkable, it appears to defy gravity by jumping out of water too.

Jiann Shieh at the National United University in Taiwan and his team chanced on the phenomenon after coating stainless steel foils thinner than a human hair with extremely water-repellent nanowires. These silica wires were grown on the steel wafers and then treated with a silicon-containing chemical called silane, which made them incredibly water-repellent.

“When we clearly saw the foil jumping out of the water after submerging it, we felt that …

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