The team of engineers from the Nanotechnology Research Laboratory at the ANU Research School of Engineering have created a much more robust waterproofing coating than previous materials, by combining two plastics, one tough and one flexible.
Lead researcher and head of the Laboratory, Associate Professor Antonio Tricoli, said the new material could change how we interact with liquids.
"It will keep skyscraper windows clean and prevent the mirror in the bathroom from fogging up," Associate Professor Tricoli said.
"The key innovation is that this transparent coating is able to stabilise very fragile nanomaterials resulting in ultra-durable nanotextures with numerous real-world applications."
In addition to waterproofing, the new ability to control the properties of materials could be applied to a wide range of other coatings.
"A lot of the functional coatings today are very weak, but we will be able to apply the same principles to make robust coatings that are, for example, anti-corrosive, self-cleaning or oil-repellent.”