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Technology

This technology related to scalable surfaces with nanoscale features that barely touch the droplets. The nanostructured pattern itself is made of copper oxide and forms on top of the copper tubing. The process produces a surface that resembles a bed of tiny, pointed leaves sticking up from the surface; these nanoscale points minimize contact between the droplets and the surface, making release easier. The nanostructured patterns can be made and applied under room temperature conditions and the growth process naturally stops itself. After the pattern is created, a hydrophobic coating is applied when a vapor solution bonds itself to the patterned surface without significantly altering its shape. As a result of this technique, droplets do not fall from the surface but actually jump away from it, thus increasing the efficiency of the process. The energy released as tiny droplets merge to form larger ones is enough to propel the droplets upward from the surface, meaning the removal of droplets does not solely depend on gravity.