Nanoscience Experiments: How to make a Superhydrophobic Surface (Artificial Lotus Effect)

The superhydrophobic surfaces experiment blends elements from chemistry, biology, and physics to vividly demonstrate how the incorporation of nanoscale texture at a material’s surface can lead to dramatic changes in certain physical properties such as wettability. Nanoscientists often find inspiration in nature. In this experiment, students will assemble silver nanoparticle films onto copper surfaces using an electroless galvanic deposition technique. After treating the nanoparticle films with a hydrophobic, “Teflon-like” coating, these surfaces are able to repel water in a manner that resembles the surfaces of lotus leaves or the feet of water strider insects. The interaction of these nanotextured interfaces with water is said to be within the superhydrophobic regime, where the contact area between water droplets and a surface is minimized until the droplets become nearly spherical and literally roll or skip off the surface. Students will learn basic concepts in surface chemistry and discuss emerging industrial applications for materials with these unique characteristics.

music: “The Lotus Flower”



8 responses to “Nanoscience Experiments: How to make a Superhydrophobic Surface (Artificial Lotus Effect)”

  1. Dankey Dorito69 Avatar


  2. Mike Same Avatar

    Your video is sucks, its hard to follow.

  3. Kelsi Holbrook Avatar

    Would this be skin safe?

  4. Sci Fox Avatar

    Ethanol is the solvent for both organic coating solutions.
    In fact they are very dilute solutions of expensive coating reagents:
    Eg, to prepare the HDFT solution I solve 100 milligrams of HDFT in 200 milliliters of ethanol.

  5. Куаныш Сактаберген Avatar

    Jakob hello, for those two coating solutions ( 11 mercaptoundecanol and hdft) you said in ethanol. does that mean you mixed them with ethanol??? please reply asap

  6. Sci Fox Avatar

    HDFT ist
    it´s available from Sigma-Aldrich and other producers of research chemicals. 

  7. Realistis Avatar

    What is HDFT? Where can you buy it?

  8. Taylor Hernikl Avatar

    My house burned down when i was trying to make this stuff, thanks!

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