There's a battle brewing underwater. Every year millions of dollars are spent combating bacterial films, called biofilms, that grow relentlessly beneath ships, corroding the structure, clogging undersea sensors, and adding drag that can increase fuel consumption by up to 40 percent.
|Ship hull covered with biofilm scum. Image Credit: Graham B.|
Now, scientists at Duke University have developed a new dynamic material that can be painted onto the bottom of boats and will shake off even tenacious bioscum. Key to the effective and environmentally friendly new material, published this month in the journal Advanced Materials, is the ability to "wrinkle" at the microscopic scale.
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