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Lotus Effect Droplet, Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, DC
Close-up of a water droplet containing dirt and detritus on a lotus leaf (Nelumbo nucifera), Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens, Washington, DC. Due to the superhydrophobic structure of the lotus leaf (including micro- and nanostructures plus hydrophobic waxes) the force of cohesion between the water molecules is greater than the adhesion forces to the leaf, known as the "lotus effect". The fact that the droplet rolls off the leaf and attracts dirt that also has low adhesion to the leaf surface means that the lotus leaf is "self-cleaning". Biomimicry has led to many commercial applications.
- © 2010 Whimbrel Nature Photography / Elijah Goodwin
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