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Led by Chunlei Guo, a professor in the University of Rochester’s Institute of Optics, a team of scientists has demonstrated how ultrashort femtosecond laser pulses etch the surface of a sheet of metal (in this research, aluminum) into a super energy-absorbing material. The metal surface in the system is a broadband absorber, which increases the efficiency of the water evaporation process, demonstrating how sunlight can purify water of contaminants and make it safe for drinking.
In addition to absorbing light across a broad wavelength range, the surface of the energy-absorbing aluminum surface in the system is superwicking (hydrophilic). When researchers angled it to face a light source, the metal surface drew a thin film of…READ MORE