The information was revealed in a study that appeared in the American Chemical Society's Journal of Physical Chemistry .Scientists are of the opinion that this revelation can be leverage in research that could potentially be used in applications such as electrical insulation. Besides, it can also be used to improve the design of airplane wings, flaps, and rudder can alter the aerodynamic properties of the plane and even cause it to crash.
On the basis of their research, the scientists replicated the architecture in a nanofiber membrane that could be developed into an ice-proof material.
Earlier, researchers were of the view that penguin feathers' ability to easily repel water answers the question why ice doesn't accumulate on them as water would slide off before freezing. However, this latest research by Jingming Wang and colleagues informs that under high humidity or ultra-low temperatures, ice can stick to even super-hydrophobic surfaces.
Using a scanning electron microscope, the researchers closely examined Humboldt penguin feathers. They found that the feathers were comprised of a network of barbs, wrinkled barbules, and tiny interlocking hooks.
Apart from being hydrophobic, the researchers added that this hierarchical architecture with grooved structures is anti-adhesive.