hydrophobic

Zoom into a Lotus Leaf video

In this film "Zoom into a Lotus Leaf," see an up close look at the tiny nanostructures that give the leaf its unique behavior. The Lotus Leaf is a symbol of purity because it appears to be perpetually clean. We now know that its self-cleaning properties are due to its ability to repel water very effectively; it's superhydrophobic. It gets its superhydrophobicity from tiny nanostructures. We start with a normal digital camera and zoom in using increasingly powerful microscopes as we explore this phenomena.

Sand, Plants and Pants

Sand, Plants and Pants is a hands-on activity exploring how the application of nano-sized particles or substances can change a bigger material’s properties. Visitors investigate the hydrophobic properties of plants, nano-fabric pants and magic sand.

Lotus Leaf Effect

"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.

The Water Race: Hydrophobic & Hydrophilic Surfaces (High School curriculum lesson)

Nonpolar molecules that repel the water molecules are said to be hydrophobic; molecules forming ionic or a hydrogen bond with the water molecule are said to be hydrophilic. This property of water was important for the evolution of life. Hydrophobic interaction plays the most critical roles in the formation of the lipid bilayer of the cell membrane and the folding of proteins and nucleic acids; therefore, hydrophobic interaction is the foundation for the existence of life.

Oleophobic Surfaces

Oleophobic Surfaces is a hands on cart demonstration for spontaneous, 3-10 minute interactions with visitors. The visitors will explore several surfaces that display oleophobic properties due to material science research at the nano scale.

Experiment with Superhydrophobic Materials

"Experiment with Superhydrophobic Materials" is a hands-on activity that tests highly water repellent materials. In this experiment the degree of hydrophobicity is measured and explained. The tested materials are highly water repellent thanks to their surface nano-engineering. The materials have been developed using nature as an inspiration, since some plant leaves have exceptional properties due to their surface composition. The activity includes an educator guide, PowerPoint, laboratory worksheet and background information.

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