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October 20 2012

'Butterfly wing' buildings would never need painting


A new material inspired by butterfly wings repels water and gleams with brilliant color. Like iridescent butterflies, the material uses tiny structures on its surface to achieve both qualities.

A material that's both colorful and water-repelling could someday go into sensors that regulate the interior temperature of "smart buildings," said Shu Yang, a University of Pennsylvania chemist whose research group made the new material.

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