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Forget Regular, Boring Paper… Meet Water-Repellent Nanopaper

Scientists have just proved something that you might think is impossible…

Through a unique nano-engineering process, the Georgia Tech team has changed the chemical properties of paper.

Specifically, they’ve given it the ability to repel liquid more efficiently and at a lower cost than existing methods.

Yet it still looks and feels just like regular paper.

Professor Dennis Hess of Georgia Tech’s Chemical and Biomedical Engineering team says water-repellent paper boasts obvious benefits – from protecting packaging material from rainwater, to new-age medical devices.

So how did they create this nanopaper?

Well, as the name suggests, they could only achieve it by working on the nanoscale.

That is, working on a scale of 1-100 nanometers. To give you an idea of how incredibly small this is, one nanometer is one billionth of a meter.

The team has to roughen the paper’s surface – a multi-step process that removes the absorbent, cellulose outer layer.

After that, Hess explains, “We deposit a fluorocarbon film that’s about 100 nanometers thick on to the surface, and we have our super-hydrophobic surface.”

Up to now, the team has only managed to produce small quantities of this water-repellent nanopaper. But he’s confident that the process can be scaled up and industrialized to bring a truly new-age, high-tech upgrade to an ancient product.