The leaves of the lotus plant are immaculately clean after every rainfall because dirt and microorganisms are unable to obtain a hold on the microstructured, non-wettable surfaces of the leaves. Dirt particles, algae, and fungal spores do not become firmly attached to the leaves, merely lying loosely on the surfaces. Rain simply washes the particles away.
A team of scientists under Dr. Wilhelm Barthlott at the University of Bonn discovered the so-called “lotus effect” by learning from nature’s model. The Lotusan facade paint is the first successful practical application of the lotus effect, and about four million square meters of facade surfacing have since been coated with Lotusan paint.
Contact: Sto AG, Stühlingen, Germany.
For more information, see Transmaterial: A Catalog of Materials That Redefine our Physical Environment