The texture of surfaces could be designed so that both water and oil can bead up and thus flow off
A new set of design criteria could enable engineers to invent and manufacture surfaces that can repel almost all liquids, even oily fluids long noted for their ability to foul water-repellent surfaces.
Many surfaces — including, say, a duck’s back — repel water. But no known natural surfaces repel oil, says Gareth McKinley, a chemical engineer at MIT. Indeed, dip a duck in oil-tainted waters and its feathers lose their water-repellency, a phenomenon all too often seen in the wake of marine oil spills.
Even though nature hasn’t come up with