Nanomechanics, Frizzy Hair, Beetles, Wine, and Oil Sands Thomas Thundat Professor and Canada Excellence Chair Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Alberta, Canada Abstract Interfacial phenomena are fundamental to many areas of science and engineering. Humid air creating havoc on gorgeous hairstyles is a common observation. Nature has perfected many different ways to utilize the interfacial phenomena for its own benefits. A beetle in the dessert collect drinking water from air by condensation on specifically patterned shell surface. A lotus leave cleanses itself of dust when it rains because of its superhydrophobic structures on its leaves. A glass of wine forms tears due to Marangoni effect. Some butterflies change their color to adapt to the environment by rearranging the periodicity of the scales on their wings. These observations, often occurring at nanoscale, can be exploited for developing sensors, devices for collecting and pre-concentrating molecules, and separating oil from oil sands. I will discuss myriads of observations of natural phenomena that people have made over the years, which can be the basis for a plethora of highly sensitive chemical and biological sensors and pre-concentrators for targeted analytes. Despite the high sensitivity that can be achieved by exploiting the nanomechanical effects, obtaining chemical selectivity still remains elusive. I will address the challenges of molecular selectivity in nanosensors and discuss ways by which we can overcome the selectivity challenge. I will also discuss standoff sensors.