Did You Know?

  • lotus leaf icon

    Did you know that the nanoscale properties of the lotus leaf are the inspiration for many easy-clean and water-repellant materials? The lotus leaf has nanoscale waxy bumps that cause water to bead up and roll off, taking dirt with it.

  • hair icon

    Did you know that your hair and fingernails grow one nanometer every second? A nanometer is one billionth of a meter or 10-9 m.

  • stained glass icon

    Did you know that the colors in stained glass windows of medieval cathedrals were created by different sized gold and silver nanoparticles? Changing the size (and shape) of the particles produces different colors.

  • Butterfly icon

    Did you know that not all color is due to pigments? Some colors are due to nanoscale structures like those found on the wings of the Blue Morpho butterfly. 

  • gecko image

    A gecko can walk up a wall and across a ceiling because of nanoscale "spatulas" on the bottom of their feet? One gecko has about one billion of these. 

  • atom icon

    Did you know that all of the atoms in your body, except for the Noble gases, have at least at one time in the past been in a nanoparticle? 

  • volcano icon

    Did you know that the atmosphere is constantly filled with nanoparticles from volcanic ash, sea spray, cosmic dust, and smoke.   These are naturally occurring nanoparticles and occur at different heights in our atmosphere.

  • rocket icon

    Did you know that at the nanoscale materials take on unusual properties that differ from the bulk?  Nano-sized aluminum powders are explosive and are being explored as rocket propellants. 

  • Ferrofluid icon

    Did you know ferrofluids were developed by NASA in the 1960s to control fluids in space?  Ferrofluids are colloidal liquids made of nanoscale magnetic particles suspended in a liquid.