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Thin Films Demonstration


This demonstration is a product of Nanodays and NISE Network ( Included in your kit is a guide with directions and information on how nanotechnology is involved.



In this demonstration you have a shallow container, black paper, clear nail polish, permanent marker, and a peacock feather.



Write your name on a strip of black paper.



Fill the shallow container with water. Slide the paper into the container.



Make sure the paper is completely under water.



Drip one drop of nail polish onto the surface of the water. The polish will spread out into a thin film.


Hold one end of the paper and lift it up out of the water. The film of nail polish will stick to the paper. Does the nail polish still look clear?


What's going on? Check the guide here.

Thin Films

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This demonstration meets the following California Science Standards:

Life Science

  • 5–8:Structure and function in living systems

Physical Science

  • K–4: Properties of materials can be observed, measured, and predicted
  • 9–12: Atomic and molecular structure
  • 9–12: Motions and forces

Investigation and Experimentation

  • K–4: Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions
  • 5–8: Ability to conduct scientific inquiry
  • 9–12: Formulate explanations by using logic and evidence
  • 9–12: Investigate a science-based societal issue



Technical and educational staff services are possible through the generosity of the National Science Foundation through support via the NNIN.