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Be Green

Learn form Mother Nature – The Lotus Effect

Self-Cleaning Mechanism Designed By Nature


The self-cleaning mechanism of a structured surface is called the Lotus Effect, because it was first discovered in the lotus blossom.

Water beads up and rolls down the leaf at the smallest slope, removing dirt, dust and soot from the surface.

Due to a complex micro- and nano-scopic architecture of the surface, dirt particles are picked up by the water droplets and clean the surface.

On the leaves of the Indian lotus blossom, rainwater beads up and rolls down the leaf at the smallest slope, removing dust and soot from them. The surface remains clean and dries immediately after a rain shower.

The video illustrates the great benefits of the lotus effect, where dirt particles get washed away with the droplets rolling off the surface. The CeNano product-line copies the benefit of the lotus effect and adopts it to all different kinds of surfaces.

The application for our product-line is limitless.

The lotus leaf in detail

Under the microscope you can see different layers build on one another. The outer skin of the leaves have small pimples, they are 5-10 micrometers high and 10-15 microns apart (one micrometer is one thousandth of a millimeter). These knobs are in turn covered by a fine nano-structure of wax crystals with diameters of about 100 nanometers. They consist of a mixture of various water-repellent (hydrophobic) Plant waxes.

Even dead and dried leaves of the lotus plant show the lotus effect.

Due to the lotus effect, surface remains clean and dries immediately.

The lotus effect applied on surfaces

CeNano products are recommended for all industries with hygienic regulations, from food selling business, restaurants, cafes and of course also for private use, to protect all sorts of surfaces.With nanotechnology the lotus effect phenomenon can now be reproduced and through the nano sealing or coating applied to any surface.  This results in time and money savings for cleaning the surfaces.

With the use of CeNano products you don’t need any cleaner which are environmentally harmful and have to be kept away from little children. Nano-sealed surfaces required less time to clean them and your cleaning interval will nearly double. That means less effort and time and no environmentally harmful cleaners, simply easy-to-clean.

The lotus effect is not a biological, but a physical-chemical phenomenon and can be emulated by using physical-chemical parameters.

The illustration shows how the effect of nanotol works.

Nano particle enter the open pores and enwrap each single knobs. Fluids can no longer penetrate the surface. The water “beads up” on the sealed surfaces and removes loose dirt.

Nanotol® by CeNano, a hydrophobic (water repellant), lipophobic (fat-repellant) and olephobic (oil-repellant) sealant that provides a special dirt-resistant and self-cleaning surface to the treated materials. Pure water can be used to remove dirt, whether dust, fat, or oil, from the surface. This goes far beyond the previously known lotus effect.

The contact angle and the beading effect


Contact angle - hydrophilic surfaces

On untreated or hydrophilic surfaces, the water droplets spread out far, the contact angle is very small. On these surfaces, the water droplets do not roll, but only glide.

Contact angle 90 ° - hydrophobic surfaces

The ideal contact angle, that a surface is water-repellent, but will still clean with water.

Contact angle> 120 ° - super-hydrophobic surfaces

Super-hydrophobic surfaces are characterized by a large contact angle and are difficult to wet.


The actual contact area is only two to three percent covered by the water droplet. The droplet is lying on the surface like on a bed of nails, with a minimum contact between the surface and the droplet.

This leads to the effect, that the water droplets assume a spherical shape. With a minimum inclination angle then they roll off the surface. The surface won’t get wet.

The secret of nanotol is the contact angle on the edge of hydrophobia!

super hydrophobic surfaces repel liquidsIn the development of nanotol® the exact contact angle has been chosen, which will retain the effect of self-cleaning, but it allows the user to clean the surface with water.

Nanotol sealed surfaces are water-repellentbut are not going to be extreme water repellent. This has the great advantage that these surfaces are becoming ultra-easy to clean, because the dirt can be solved through the water and then rinsed.



The difference between Nanotol and conventional nano-sealant

lotus.pngMost nano sealants create a contact angle that is too large. Sealed and thus highly hydrophobic surfaces, where the beading effect is in the foreground can not be cleaned with pure water. Water lubricates and can not solve the dirt. This effect is visually very impressive and is often used to sell nano sealants. The customer benefits of such a super-hydrophobic surface is severely limited. The beading works only on a clean surface. If it’s not raining, the surface will get dusty and dirty. The beading effect is only available after the surface has been cleaned, which is obviously not the ideal solution. Surface treatments by CeNano can significant reduce the use of harsh and chemical cleaners and save water and maintenance costs.

Experience the wide application range of nanotol and experience the benefits.

The CeNano product-line reduces required cleanings, conserves water and eliminates those harsh cleaning chemicals that would be needed and reduces the contamination of our rivers, lakes and oceans. Explore the wide range of our surface coatings for commercial and consumer use.

Application Overview