I teach advanced inorganic chemistry and wanted to find ways to bring in the primary literature, applications, and current research areas. Students read the article, "Role of Defects in Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Chemical Sensors" by Eric S. Snow, Nanoletters 2006, 6 (8) pp. 1747 -1751, on their own. Students are required to answer guided questions (see file Student_questions_Effects of Defects SWCN.doc) and apply basic concepts they have learned in previous courses to understand current literature. Students learn terminology related to material defects, relate what they learned about defects to material properties, and find other primary literature papers.
A student should be able to
- Define chemisorption and physisorption.
- Compare and contrast chemisorption and physisorption.
- Apply their knowledge of defects to the following properties: chemical selectivity, electrical conductance and capacitance.
- Determine the importance of Langmuir plots in this research.
- Locate additional articles by the primary author.
- Connect the science in the paper to a broader research interest.
Students were given the the paper and a list of questions so they would be prepared for class discussion. Students come to class prepared to share their answers and will use their handout as a study guide for an upcoming test. Discussion takes 20 minutes of class time.
The attached file, Carbon Nanotube Sensor_resource.pdf, provides background information on this topic.
I have students answer all questions and share their answers during class.
Another option is to have students answer all questions and turn them in for grading.
The entire class participated and completed the sheet. Question 6 allows for discussion expansion into research topics. I think the fact that they new an upcoming exam question would come from the assignment they were motivated.