Mimicking Saharan silver ant's hair: A bionic solar heat shielding architextile with hexagonal ZnO microrods coating

Yuxiang Wang, Songmin Shang, Ka lok Chiu, Shouxiang Jiang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Inspired by the amazing capability of Saharan silver ants (SSant) to keep cool under extremely hot conditions, we develop a new functional architextile product by mimicking its microrod shaped hair to obtain an effective solar heat shielding function. To be specific, unique hexagonal zinc oxide (ZnO) microrods (MRs) were rationally synthesized and further coated on polyester fabric with polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) to achieve a bionic solar heat shielding architextile product. The surface temperature of the as-prepared fabric can be lowered by 10 °C compared to the control sample under the irradiation of a solar simulator of AM 1.5 G condition for 1 h. The test results show that the as-synthesized coating material can reflect nearly 90% of the solar irradiance and thus leads to an efficient reduction in temperature. Additionally, the thermal conductivity and transmittance of fabric are also significantly enhanced after the coating process. In summary, the proposed bionic coating materials possess similar thermal shielding functions of SSant hairs and can have a potential application in developing solar heat shielding architextile.

Original languageEnglish
Article number127013
JournalMaterials Letters
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2020


  • Biomimetic
  • Functional
  • Polymeric composites
  • Thermal properties

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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