coondoggie writes "Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory say they have created 'hairy' electronic materials that grow like Chia pets. The Argonne researchers said they are interested in the tiny fibers for use in technologies like batteries, photovoltaic cells or sensors. '"Hairy" materials offer up a lot of surface area. Many chemical reactions depend on two surfaces making contact with one another, so a structure that exposes a lot of surface area will speed the process along. (For example, grinding coffee beans gives the coffee more flavor than soaking whole beans in water.) Micro-size hairs can also make a surface that repels water, called superhydrophobic, or dust,' the researchers said in a statement."