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Argonne Lab Grows Chia Pet Style Hairy Electronic Fibers

samzenpus posted about 9 months ago | from the growing-connections dept.

Technology 22

coondoggie writes "Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory say they have created 'hairy' electronic materials that grow like Chia pets. The Argonne researchers said they are interested in the tiny fibers for use in technologies like batteries, photovoltaic cells or sensors. '"Hairy" materials offer up a lot of surface area. Many chemical reactions depend on two surfaces making contact with one another, so a structure that exposes a lot of surface area will speed the process along. (For example, grinding coffee beans gives the coffee more flavor than soaking whole beans in water.) Micro-size hairs can also make a surface that repels water, called superhydrophobic, or dust,' the researchers said in a statement."

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Please don't grind my coffee with this... (1, Offtopic)

TWX (665546) | about 9 months ago | (#46145279)

...I really don't like hair in my food or beverages, and it'd be a lot harder to send it back than finding a hair in an omelet or some other food...

Re:Please don't grind my coffee with this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46150445)

You need another cup. First, you actually RTFA (nobody does THAT, certainly not the guy who modded you offtopic). Then you misunderstood what it was saying. It was explaining that hair-like structures have more surface area so can be used in applications like battery construction. The coffee came in as an explanation of why a greater surface area is often desirable -- you grind coffee to give the water it's perked in more surface area. Using unground beans would be wasteful.

This tech may become something that will heat your coffee.

Morgellon's? (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 9 months ago | (#46145301)

Great, wait until the Morgellon's people hear about this.

Re:Morgellon's? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46147127)

mod parent up

Stupid Title (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46145319)

Stupid summary.

Re:Stupid Title (1)

Nexus7 (2919) | about 9 months ago | (#46150309)


I mean, what does this mean, "... Micro-size hairs can also make a surface that repels water, called superhydrophobic, or dust,' the researchers said in a statement."

Does it mean they can repel water and dust, or they can repel water, dust, and something called "called superhydrophobic"? And if the clause "called superhydrophobic" is explaining water repulsion, then why isn't it just hydrophobic, but instead a super version?

I need it now! (1)

grumpyman (849537) | about 9 months ago | (#46145377)

Coffee-flavored hair? I don't care, just plug this thing on my scalp!

Programmers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46145379)

Hairy, dusty and repels water? Sounds a little too much like your average programmer to me.

Argonne braggarts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46145475)

Always bragging about how they have the biggest disks.

Ch-ch-ch-chia!!! (1)

sconeu (64226) | about 9 months ago | (#46145481)

Now the new Chia Circuit Board! Just soak it in water, paint on the seeds, and watch your brand new ARM computer grow!!!!

Also available, Chia Steve Ballmer!!!!

Re:Ch-ch-ch-chia!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46145499)

Raspberry Chia? Chia Pi?

This will be a hot item next Christmas (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 9 months ago | (#46145543)

I can see the television ads already...

Yes! You too can grow hairy electronic materials in your own home! Amaze your friends and neighbors! Makes a great gift for anybody in the family! Act now, limited supply!

And at some point we'll find these become Triffids, but only when it's too late.

Speeding (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46146123)

I too have heard that hairy palms will speed a certain process along. Or is that the other way around?

the first step (1)

slick7 (1703596) | about 9 months ago | (#46146505)

Is this the beginning of fuzzy logic?

Epic fail... Americans... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46148389)

"that repels water, called superhydrophobic, or dust"

Who writes like that?

It should be "that repels water (or dust), called superhydrophobic".

Just unbelievable. And SO American...

Re:Epic fail... Americans... (1)

Nexus7 (2919) | about 9 months ago | (#46150323)

Do they mean water and dust, or just water or dust at one time, but not both simultaneously?

Re:Epic fail... Americans... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46153141)

Their writing isn't good, but "that repels water (or dust), called superhydrophobic" is inaccurate. Rather, it's superhydrophobic, which means it repels water REALLY well, and it will repel dust as well.

Superhydrophobic does not mean "repels dust".

Article's opinion of their target audience... (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 9 months ago | (#46148457)

Non-clickable image of actual microscopic filaments: 188x187 pixels
YouTube video of chia pet commercial: 640x360 pixels

First Application... (1)

nutcracker666 (641676) | about 9 months ago | (#46148643)


prior art exists (1)

swschrad (312009) | about 9 months ago | (#46150339)

two words: tin whiskers.

Re:prior art exists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46160989)

Ice does this too, different forms being known as frost flowers and haareis. There's even a form that has mushroomed tops just like these guys have made with epoxy. What's new here is doing it deliberately and with control over the structure grown.

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