Electron transfer

28 Nov 2008
Evaluation Methods: 
The students are assessed through the performance task of answering one or more of the discussion questions included as a separate document.
Evaluation Results: 
I used this paper as the basis for a 25-minute oral exam, so we only covered a few of the discussion questions, particularly as the student had difficulty drawing a connection to the Nernst equation and the pH dependence of redox potentials.
Description: 
This learning object focuses on a discussion of a recent paper that highlights the application of electrochemistry in inorganic materials chemistry: “Direct Electrodeposition of Cu2Sb for Lithium-Ion Battery Anodes” by James M. Mosby and Amy L. Prieto, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2008, 130, 10656-10661.  This article describes the current challenges to designing new lithium ion battery anodes and the use of cyclic voltammetry and electrodeposition to prepare the intermetallic anode material, Cu2Sb, in crystalline form directly from aqueous solutions of copper(II) and antimony(III).
Corequisites: 
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Learning Goals: 

A student should be able to explain the chemistry behind how a lithium ion battery works, the limitations of current materials, and gain perspective on some of the materials challenges involved in making a better lithium battery.

A student should be able to interpret the cyclic voltammetry data that is presented, understand the authors' conclusions, and apply their knowledge of the Nernst equation to explain how the reduction potential of species in solution can be shifted by either changing pH or by the addition of complexing agents.

A student should be able to explain the advantages and disadvantages of electrodeposition as a materials synthesis technique including the choice of whether to use controlled potential electrolysis or controlled current electrolysis.

A student should be able to describe the additional analytical techniques, X-ray powder diffraction and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, used to characterize the materials discussed in this paper and interpret the value added by these experimental results.


Related activities: 
Implementation Notes: 
I have used this paper as a basis of an oral exam that focused on a current paper from the inorganic literature, drawing questions from the list of discussion questions as needed.  A fellow member of IONiC used this paper as a discussion activity in an Analytical Chemistry and Instrumentation course in the midst of a unit on electrochemistry.  In this case, he divided up the discussion questions between different pairs of students to present during class.
Time Required: 
1 hr
28 Mar 2008

Miessler and Tarr: Inorganic Chemistry, 3rd. Ed

Submitted by Nancy Scott Burke Williams, Scripps College, Pitzer College, Claremont McKenna College
Description: 

Miessler and Tarr is an inorganic textbook which is is best suited to an upper-division one-semester inorganic course, though there is more material than can be covered in a single semester, so some choice of topics is necessary.  It is very well suited for a course oriented around structure, bonding, and reaction chemistry of transition metal compounds, but is very limited in its treatment of solids, main-group, descriptive chemistry, and bioinorganic.  Pchem would be helpful but is not necessary.  In particular, the treatment of MO theory is very in-depth.  The quality of end-of chapter problems is generally good.  The book is fairly readable, giving it an advantage over some of the more "reference work" style textbooks, but as a result, is a less useful text to have on your bookshelf five years hence.  Pearson Higher Ed. suggests a retail price of $144.20.  

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26 Mar 2008

Housecroft and Sharpe: Inorganic Chemistry, 3ed

Submitted by Lori Watson, Earlham College
Description: 

Housecroft and Sharpe (Inorganic Chemistry, 3ed): This is a comprehensive inorganic textbook designed primarily for students at the Junior/Senior level. P-Chem would not be needed as a prerequisite for this text, but would be helpful. It includes both theoretical and descriptive material along with special topics, enough for a two semester course though it is easily adaptable to a one-semester "advanced inorganic" course by choosing only some topics. It is written in a clear and generally readable style and the full-color graphic contribute to student understanding. Ancillaries include electronic versions of most figures, and a student site with a limited number of multiple choice review questions for each chapter. The 3rd edition updates the end-of -the-chapter problems, though disappointingly does not draw problems from the recent literature. In general, these are good review problems to make sure students understand the basic concepts, but some faculty will want to supplement student assignments with more challenging problems. The list price for the student text is $175 for a paperback, 1098p version.

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