So dry it's waterproof

Lasers have been used to transform metals into super-hydrophobic materials without the need for temporary coatings.

Such water-repellent materials are desirable for a number of applications such as rust prevention, anti-icing, or sanitation.

In a paper published in the Journal of Applied Physics , Rochester’s Chunlei Guo and Anatoliy Vorobyev describe a laser-patterning technique that creates an intricate pattern of micro-and nanoscale structures to give the metals their new properties.

This work is said to build on earlier research by the team in which they used a technique to turn metals black. Guo said that using this technique they can create multifunctional surfaces that are not only super-hydrophobic but also highly-absorbent optically.