Professor Glen McHale of Northumbria University will talk about 'ultrahydrophobicity' -- also often known as the 'Lotus Effect'.
When it rains we often observe small droplets defying gravity and sticking to our windows. But when we wash cabbage, we see water shooting off its surface. Lotus leaves appear to remain dry, but also remain clean no matter what their natural environment throws at them. The Nepenthes Pitcher plant can trick even the most careful of insects into walking onto its surface from which there is no escape to slipping into the digestive cup of this carnivorous plant. And the stickiest of honey dew is no barrier to the galling ant when cleans up its nest. So how does Nature create surfaces that are slippery to liquids? What tricks are used? And how can we take inspiration for how we work and live in the world? In this talk, I will illustrate how surfaces can be made more liquid-repellent and slippery to liquids than chemistry alone would allow and how that understanding might help us design more efficient and better technology across every length-scale from micro-analytical devices to pipes and ships.
Professor Glen McHale is a theoretical and experimental applied and materials physicist. He combines leading the Smart Materials & Surfaces laboratory with his role as a Pro Vice-Chancellor at Northumbria University.
Along with colleagues at Northumbria, Nottingham Trent and Oxford Universities, he has developed a public understanding of science exhibition, 'Natures Raincoats' (naturesraincoats.com).
See this map for directions to the venue -- the Business and Law Building is number 17 on the map.