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China's super buoyant, super small copper boats


Researchers in China, inspired by Mother Nature, have developed postage stamp-sized copper mesh boats, "some of the most buoyant" yet devised. Taking a page from both the shark and the lotus, the team applied a rough and uneven coating to the surface of the mesh, which reduces the vessel's contact with water. Next, a hydrophobic was applied, which keeps water from penetrating the porous material, "even when they are carrying a load," according to Dr Qinmin Pan, a chemist from Harbin Institute of Technology. "We believe these boats are some of the strongest ever built - in terms of the mass they can carry." Possible uses for the superhydrophobic material include microfluidic devices (where minuscule amounts of a liquid are used to carry information on a chip) and miniature aquatic robots. As you know, ensuring replicant diversity is an important part of their plan.

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