Science and Nature

Metallic foil covered with nanowires does backflips out of water


29 June 2021

By James Urquhart

Stainless metal foil that in general sinks in water has been made so water-repellent that now no longer splendid is it unsinkable, it appears to defy gravity by leaping out of water too.

Jiann Shieh at the Nationwide United College in Taiwan and his crew chanced on the phenomenon after coating stainless metal foils thinner than a human hair with extraordinarily water-repellent nanowires. These silica wires were grown on the metal wafers after which treated with a silicon-containing chemical known as silane, which made them extremely water-repellent.

“Once we clearly seen the foil leaping out of the water after submerging it, we felt that …

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