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.

Oil Spill Clean Up Simulation

“Nano sand” is a product that was originally invented to help clean up oil spills in water. Since the “nano sand” is hydrophobic, it does not let water molecules pass through. It does, however, let oil molecules pass through. When oil-contaminated water is exposed to “magic sand”, the oil passes through and leaves clean water behind. And when “magic sand” is sprinkled on top of oil spills, the sand binds with the oil and creates oil- filled sand clumps that fall to the bottom of an ocean or lake.

A Hundred Tiny Hands Inventor Kits

A Hundred Tiny Hands creates Inventor Kits for kids; the company is led by Michelle Khine, Ph.D., professor at the University of California, Irvine and co-founder of several biotech start-up companies. Kits available for pre-order. "As a nanotechnology lab at the University of California, Irvine, we believe in the power of the small. We ask you to imagine the collective power of the little hands of our next generation of scientists, engineers, and inventors. We need to inspire, nurture, and guide these little hands to do great things." Kits include:

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.


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