This paper, while not fundamentally groundbreaking, serves as a nice introduction to the field of mesoporous materials. I like that it covers synthesis, characterization, and an application of the materials. I have used this paper in our senior seminar course as the basis for discussion of this area of chemistry. Discussion questions cover aspects of sol-gel chemistry, powder diffraction, gas adsorption, IR, solid state NMR, UV-Vis, and catalysis.
Upon reading this paper, students should be able to:
• Describe at least one method by which mesoporous materials can be both synthesized and functionalized
• Explain how x-ray diffraction, gas adsorption, solid state NMR (and to a lesser extent, IR and UV-Vis) can be used to characterize mesoporous materials
As part of our seminar, each faculty member rotates through to present a paper for discussion in his or her area of chemistry. The class meets for 1 hr 20 minutes twice a week (Tuesday and Thursday). Students are given the paper on a Tuesday, without much preface, and are asked to briefly read over the work for Thursday. In class on that Thursday, I have them to present an overview of the paper and submit any terms with which they are unfamiliar. I spend the majority of that day giving an introduction to the field, defining unfamilair terms, and answering questions. Then I distribute a handout with specific questions for the students to answer. Some questions are to be done by all, others are assigned in groups. While the groups are evenly populated, I often assign a different number of question to each group. For instance, because students have been introduced to IR, NMR, and UV-Vis, I have one group tackle all three of these sections on the assignment. For topics with which they're not likely familiat (XRD, gas adsorption), I assign one of these per group. They have until the following Tuesday to work on the questions. At that point, I ask students to present their answers, and we resume the class discussion. (I have attached the handout that I give to students, and a version with my answers, below.)
Related note: Although we are moving to a two-course inorganic sequence in AY 2012-13, I do not have the ability to "squeeze" materials chemistry into my (currently) one semester course; I therefore relish the opportunity to present this paper in our seminar course. If you have the time to cover materials in your normal inorganic sequence, you may be able to present this paper in one class instead of two.
If you have faculty privileges on VIPEr, then solutions to the questions can be found in the linked learning object (see related activities).