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Effective liquid transport is greatly important for wide applications, including desalination, water harvesting and microfluidic chips. Progresses in this field primarily address designing the state-of-the-art surfaces with various wettability and geometry, but still face challenges, such as slow transport speed. This study focuses on Tillandsia, one of epiphytes that uptake water from atmospheric resources, even without absorptive roots. We elucidate structures of Tillandsia’s trichome wings, and liquid film flow through flexible wings on Tillandsia surface, in a domino-like manner, resulting the enhanced travelling distance of L ~ t^(0.68). This unique reconfiguration of wings—flattening and recovery—by the liquid film provides the evidence of novel flow behaviors in nature, and inspires technologies for designing capillary pumps, shape-morphing materials and water treatment devices.

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This page is a summary of: Domino‐like water transport on Tillandsia through flexible trichome wings, New Phytologist, April 2021, Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/nph.17336.
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