Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Engineering Physics and Physics
We have developed a “Size and Scale” laboratory experiment for an associate level course in nanotechnology. This lab will assist students in conceptualizing the size of particles by physically measuring an oleic acid molecule, comparing its length to other common objects, and by examining the quantum effects of nanoparticles.
The first part of the experiment involves a student reading about laboratory safety, using laboratory equipment and a brief exercise introducing mixtures and unit conversion. The student will then be guided through the process of calculating the length of the oleic acid molecule. This introduces basic laboratory procedures that will be utilized throughout the nanotechnology coursework. The second component of the lab creates a visualization for the student. By pictorially enlarging several common items with which a student is familiar we create an enlarged scale. The student will then engage in an exercise to scale up other objects that consecutively become smaller, to see how a one-nanometer sized object compares to other items on this scale. This exercise will instill a physical meaning to future measurements. The last portion of the laboratory experiment introduces Quantum Dots to the student and describes the essential “Particle- in-a-box” experiment and the concept of quantized energy states. The student will then analyze the emission spectra of fluorescing Quantum Dots and engage in an exercise to calculate their diameter.
The three sections of this experiment work together to effectively teach a student about the physical meaning of a measurement with “micro” or “nano” as the prefix. Although a byproduct of learning size and scale, the experimental and algebraic exercises performed in this laboratory are an equally important part of the nanotechnology curriculum, and they have been paired together in this procedure to help the student acquire techniques useful in both the laboratory and the workforce.
Kaiser, S. A., & Kamali, R., & Weber, P., & Minaie, A. (2018, June), A Size and Scale Laboratory Experiment for Introductory Nanotechnology Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/29723
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