Towards the end of the semester, when we were starting to read more of the primary literature, I realized that the Miller Indices were present in most of the papers that I wanted to discuss. However, I couldn't find any good resources in textbooks that would help to explain what these were. I found this online resource through the University of Cambridge that is engaging, interactive and concise.
The resources on this website will help students learn concepts in materials chemistry, solid state chemistry, and nanoscience. The website provides links to
This lab was part of the materials science portion of my second-year inorganic chemistry course. Students synthesize a zeolite structure and grow a chemical garden as examples of silicate chemistry.
Students use a Java-based website to explore the faujasite zeolite structure. The activity questions guide them through identifying different atomic positions within the structure, and orienting the zeolite pores and "cages" relative to the crystal axes.
This lab handout and supplementary materials were developed based on a publication in the Journal of Chemical Education:
Berger, P.; Adelman, N.; Beckman, K.; Campbell, D.; Ellis, A.; Lisensky, G. Preparation and Properties of an Aqueous Ferrofluid. J. Chem. Educ. 1999, 76 (7), 943-48
I asked the students in my junior/senior inorganic course to develop their own literature discussion learning objects and lead the rest of the class in a discussion of their article. Student Johann Maradiaga chose this article describing the synthesis and characterization of Fe2GeS4 nanocrystals with potential applications in photovoltaic devices (Sarah J. Fredrick and Amy L. Prieto, “Solution Synthesis and Reactivity of Colloidal Fe2GeS4: A Potential Candidate for Earth Abundant, Nanostructured Photovoltaics” J. Am. Chem.
This is a very brief introduction to the origin of color in nanoparticle systems. A link to a video is included in the slides that shows the addition of the reducing agent to the gold precursor solution. The link is also available as a Web Resourse (below).
This literature discussion is based off a Nature article by Buck, Bondi, and Schaak (Buck, M.; Bondi, J.; Schaak, R. Nat Chem 2012, 4, (1), 37-44 DOI: 10.1038/NCHEM.1195). It spans topics of solid state, crystallography, characterization techniques, and comparing inorganic to organic synthesis.
This in-class activity was created at the NSF-TUES sponsored workshop at Penn State, June 2013. It is based on the article from Ray Schaak’s group (Buck, Matthew R.; Bondi, James F.; Schaak, Raymond E. “A total-synthesis framework for the construction of high-order colloidal hybrid nanoparticles” Nature Chemistry 2012, 4, 37-44, DOI: 10.1038/NCHEM.1195), which Ray presented at the workshop.
This literature discussion activity is designed to highlight the use of different instrumentation and what details can be gained from each instrument. It should also help the students review their knowledge of crystal structure, types of crystals, and amorphous solids. The paper is from Chemistry of Materials, 2013, 25, 2394-2403 (DOI: 10.1021/cm303490y). The paper should be given one week prior to class discussion, ideally after covering some of the instrumentation in class including X-ray dif