P619: Solids in the foundation: Blu-ray to lighting
Real-world topical modules must change with time to stay current. The Chemlinks/MC2 module entitled, “Build a Better CD Player: How Can You Get Blue Light from a Solid?” provides an example. This module had chemistry content that included periodic properties, blackbody radiation, electronic energy levels and band gaps, metals and conductivity, semiconductors, solid solutions and isoelectronic principles, and ionic lattices. Finding a light source for what is now called a blu-ray player is no longer in the future, but light emitting diodes (LEDs) have doubled their light output and halved their cost every two years becoming viable candidates for solid state lighting. The previous chemistry content of the module is even more relevant packaged in a revised module, “How Can We Reduce Energy Use for Lighting?” that provides an excellent foundation for periodicity and the solid-state in introductory chemistry. Including solids is important for career preparation, interdisciplinary connections, and three-dimensional visualization, for merging macroscopic and microscopic views, for showing high-tech applications with chemistry content, and for providing teacher-friendly labs and demonstrations.