The paper from the Prieto group, Riha, S. C.; Parkinson, B. A.; Prieto, A. L. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011, 133, 15272-15275, is proposed to be an excellent literature article for achieving several learning goals in the understanding of fundamental solid state and materials chemistry. The learning object was developed as a part of the 2013 VIPEr workshop and has not been tested in the classroom. We have developed a set of discussion questions that can be used as a guide for the students. We have also developed a complementary LO, that uses a concept map to help understand the article. We provide additional questions for assessing the concept map. We would appreciate help in testing the effectiveness of the discussion questions with and without the concept map.
The paper in discussion describes the synthesis of CZT(S, Se) nanoparticles that have potential application in the manufacturing of low-cost and environmentally responsible thin-film solar cells. The article reviews the previous literature and explicitly develops testable hypotheses. The as-synthesized nanoparticles are carefully studied by a suite of instrumental techniques including X-ray diffraction, high resolution transmission electron microscopy, and UV-vis spectroscopy. The data from the paper can be used to help students understand the synthesis, characterization, and properties of semiconducting nanomaterials. Furthermore, the paper explains the implications of their finding to further the scientific study of multicomponent chalcogenide nanocrystals.
LG1: Find a specific scholarly article and its supporting information from a library resource.
LG2: Explain the effects of solid solution formation on material properties including changes in the empirical formula, unit cell, lattice parameters, and energy band gap.
LG3: Compare multiple analytical techniques that are needed to complete a scientific study.
LG4: Use data to justify the goals of the article.
LG5: List the advantages and disadvantages of CZT(S,Se) nanoparticles as components in next generation photovoltaic devices.
LG6: Evaluate the usefulness of a concept map to connect multiple ideas in this primary literature article.
We have not attempted to implement this LO. We imagine that this LO could be used in conjunction with the concept map LO. We would assume that students could work in small groups to discuss the literature.
We have not attempted to evaluate this LO. As we use the LO, we will post the assessment data.
The writers of this LO also wanted to assess the effectiveness of the Concept Map LO of this article (Linked on website) when answering the same set of questions. We want to assess whether concept mapping of the article would aid in the comprehension of a literature article. If the students have a measureable increase in understanding, we believe concept mapping an article would be a good, transferable strategy for students to dissect and to understand an article.