Lotus Leaf Effect

NISE Network product
Description: 

"Lotus Leaf Effect” is a cart demo that demonstrates how nature inspires nanotechnology by sharing how nanoscale features on a surface can influence how a material behaves at the macroscale. Visitors learn that lotus leaves (and many other plant leaves) are self cleaning and repel water, due to nanoscale features on the leaves. During the program, visitors compare how water interacts with regular lettuce and leaves that exhibit the lotus effect by dropping water onto the different types of leaves.

Audience: 

Objectives

Big Idea: 
Nanoscale features of materials can alter macroscale behavior.
Learning Goals: 
  • Nanoscale features of materials can alter macroscale behavior.
  • Nanotechnology can improve materials in our everyday lives.
  • Scientists copied a surface in nature that protects leaves and used it to improve paint.
NISE Net Content Map: 
  • Nanometer-sized things are very small, and often behave differently than larger things do.
  • Scientists and engineers have formed the interdisciplinary field of nanotechnology by investigating properties and manipulating matter at the nanoscale.
  • Nanoscience, nanotechnology, and nanoengineering lead to new knowledge and innovations that weren't possible before.

Credits

Funding: 
Developed for the NISE Network with funding from the National Science Foundation under Award Numbers 0532536 and 0940143. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this product are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Foundation.
Permissions: 

Creative Commons license image Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike

Development Process: 

NISE Network products are developed through an iterative collaborative process that includes scientific review, peer review, and visitor evaluation in accordance with an inclusive audiences approach. Products are designed to be easily edited and adapted for different audiences under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike license. To learn more, visit our Development Process page.