Slippery SLIPS New ScientistCopied from pitcher plants; destined for ketchup bottles A new artificial material appropriately named SLIPS is one of the most slippery materials ever created. The new material, developed at Harvard, is self-cleaning and never gets dirty for a simple reason: nothing can stick to it. SLIPS (Slippery Liquid Infused Porous Surface) was inspired by carnivorous pitcher plants, whose slippery, cylindrical leaves slide insects into the digestive juices at the base of the plant. The surface of the leaves' spongelike texture is infused with water, which repels the sticky oils on insects' feet. Lead researcher Joanna Aizenberg, a material scientist at Harvard, and her colleagues created an artificial version of the leaves surface, immobilizing a "lubricating film" (3M's Fluorinert FC-70 perfluorinated fluid) inside a similarly spongy layer of Teflon. The result is "omniphobic," repelling both water and oil-based materials. Liquids from oil and water to blood all roll right...
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