The latest nano-material to get nanotech researchers all hot and bothered is Graphene: a one-atom-thick honeycomb of carbon atoms that looks like it can do everything from making much more powerful batteries to replacing silicon as the semiconductor material of choice. And now, researchers at Vanderbilt University have found another use for it: making things either super-absorb or super-repel water.
The researchers have developed a method for applying Graphene sheets to materials in two different ways: “rug” or “brick.” In a rug formation, the sheets form an even surface that causes water to spread out, while a brick formation is uneven and causes water to bead off. Since Graphene is transparent, it could be added to any number of objects to use those properties, including water repellent clothes or glasses.
Now, Vanderbilt didn’t suggest many applications for the super-absorbent setting. We’re thinking…super-towels?