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Making a Wire Lithograph and Pressure Sensor Nanotechnology Kit

Developed in partnership with Argonne National Laboratory.

  • Designed for 10 groups of 4 students
  • Includes instruction manual
This kit gives your students the opportunity to apply a revolutionary nanotechnology manufacturing technique to grow nano-scale and micro-scale copper wires. Using a unique ultra nanocrystalline diamond (UNCD) electrode, students use traditional electroplating and lithography (E&L) techniques to grow pattern-shaped wires that become the essential components that can be used to fabricate optical and electrical sensors and other devices.

This kit covers the following concepts: measurement scales/perspectives, unique properties at nanoscale, fabricating nano/microscale structures, and creating nano/microscale lithographic wire patterns.

Activity 1 - Making a Wire Lithograph


Students incorporate the UNCD electrode in a traditional electroplating apparatus and apply a 9V potential to electroplate star wire patterns. Depending upon electroplating time (minutes), students create and transfer invisible (nanoscale) or visible (microscale) wires in a star pattern onto sticky tape. In the process they learn directly about scale (nano to macro) scale prospective. Your students observe these wire patterns placed on microscope slides under low (100X) magnification. They assess how electroplating time (electro deposition) affects wire length (and corresponding wire pattern visibility) and how wire patterns can be consistently produced and reliably transferred onto a flexible support medium (sticky tape). These learned skills form the basis for future student design applications – such as incorporating copper wire lithographs into sensors or creating light diffraction gratings.

Activity 2 - Making a Conductive Pressure Sensor


Students apply their knowledge of nanomanufacturing (E&L) to create nanowire and microwire patterns that can be used to create a pressure sensor. Students learn what a sensor is and use their observational electro-deposition data (from the previous activity) to design, manufacture, and test a conductive ‘bridge’ (pressure ‘sensor’) allowing illumination of a 9V LED lamp.

Ordering information: Kit is provided with an access code for downloadable activity guides and other support information, including Teacher Guide; Student Guide; Glossary; Background Information: Learning About Nanotechnology; Videos: Nano Frontiers MP4, Nano Manufacturing: Electroplate and Lift Lithography, Making Nanowires mp4; PowerPoints: Making a Microwire Lithograph ppt / mp4, Nano Technology: A Closer Look at the Universe of ‘little’ ppt/mp4; and Poster: A Closer Look at Nanowires.



Item # Description No. of Lab Groups Unit Availability Price Quantity
470231-008 Wire Lithograph and Pressure Sensor Nanotechnology Kit
10 Kit of 1 Retrieving Restricted
restricted This product is marked as restricted and can only be purchased by approved Shipping Accounts. To apply for a shipping account number, click here. If you need further assistance, call Customer Service at 800-962-2660 or email


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