superhydrophobic

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.

Bump and Roll

Bump and Roll is an interactive exhibit that demonstrates nanomaterial properties using an everyday object: a leaf of cabbage. The nanoscale structures on a cabbage leaf cause water to bead up and slide off its surface. Scientists are replicating these “superhydrophobic” properties with nanotechnology. Drip water onto a cabbage leaf, and change the angle of the surface to see how the droplets behave. Find out about the super-small bumps that make this surprising behavior possible.

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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