P765: Exploring and understanding solution growth of Cu2O nanomaterials using chemical analysis as a guided laboratory experience
Over a four-week period, students work in groups to design components and then carry out synthesis of a variety of Cu2O nanomaterials. Understanding the evolution of precursor concentrations during nanowire and nanotube growth has important implications in controlling complex crystal morphology. Using articles from the current literature as reference, they choose a range of reaction precursors and reaction conditions. They monitor reaction processes using chemical analysis (titrations/spectrophotometry/atomic emission spectroscopy), and investigated the size and morphology of the nanomaterial products by optical microscopy and SEM. This guided laboratory project takes place in a large, undergraduate analytical chemistry course. Students expressed general positive feedback regarding the experience in an exit survey. Several undergraduate students pursued further angles of this subject after the class was over, registering for independent research credits in subsequent semesters.