Biomimetic Materials for Efficient Atmospheric Water Collection
Water scarcity is a severe problem in semi-arid desert regions, land-scarce countries and in countries with high levels of economic activity. In these regions, the collection of atmospheric water – for example, fog – is recognized as an important method of providing water. In nature, through millions of year evolution, some animals and plants in many of the arid regions have developed unique and highly efficient systems with delicate microstructures and composition for the purpose of fog collection to survive the harsh conditions. With the unique ability of fog collection, these creatures could readily cope with insufficient access to fresh water or lack of precipitation. These natural examples have inspired the design and fabrication of artificial fog collection materials and devices. In this chapter, we will first introduce some natural examples for their unique fog collection capability, and then give some examples of the bioinspired materials and devices that are fabricated artificially to mimic these natural creatures for the purpose of fog collection. We believe that the biomimetic strategy is one of the most promising routes for the design and fabrication of functional materials and devices for the solution of the global water crisis.