Nanotechnology Workforce Development
Quantum Dot Solar Cell
This group presents materials about two projects used in a first-year engineering course at Purdue University that were developed by the nanoHUB team.
The first project was to develop a mathematical model to solve a problem for a client.
The second project was to use their mathematical model as the basis for the design of a simulation tool.
Each project took about half of the semester to complete. The context of both projects was an application of nanotechnology - solar panel fabrication. The students were to develop a mathematical model to optimize mixtures of quantum dot materials to minimize cost, toxicity, or cost and toxicity while achieving particular band gap energy.
Nanotechnology and the NAE Grand Challenge Make Solar Energy Economical
This group of materials is designed to provide a framework to teach students in an introductory engineering course basic nanotechnology concepts. The materials use the NAE grand challenge “Make Solar Energy Economical” to underpin the need and potential for nanotechnology to address society’s needs. In addition, motivation for students to persist in engineering is provided by introduction to the NAE Grand Challenges for Engineering capitalizing on student’s altruistic tendencies.
Simulation-Powered Learning Activities
Visualizing Crystal Structures: An interactive group classroom activity
This learning activity guides students through the visualization of three-dimensional crystal structures using the software package Ovito. Students work in groups manipulating crystal structures on their personal computers, ranking the planar densities of the (100), (110), and (111) planes in face-centered cubic (FCC) and NaCl crystal structures. The activity can be performed in a 50 minute lecture session, in a lab or discussion section, or as homework.
This activity can also be done using Crystal Viewer, using the following instructions:
How to Create Atomic Planes in FCC, NaCl and Simple Cubic Crystal Structures
This step-by-step guide shows how to create atomic planes in some common crystal structures. The crystal structures can be sliced along the planes, and the atomic packing of each plane investigated.
Links to saved simulations of each of the planes and structures are included.
These instructions should enable the user to create meaningful representations of many Miller planes in the numerous materials and structures available in Crystal Viewer. For example, the (111) plane in a BCC crystal is shown in the image.
nanoHUB Simulation Activity: Orientations of Common Single Crystal Substrates
In this activity, you will use Crystal Viewer to create crystal structures with surfaces that are specific planes, specified by Miller indices, allowing you to visualize and compare the atomic arrangements and numbers of “dangling bonds” on the different surfaces.
Synthesis and Analysis of Silver/Gold Nanoparticles
This lab provides instructions for the synthesis of nanoscale silver colloidal particles along with questions to guide student thinking regarding the molecular-scale interactions between acids, bases, salts and sugar with the silver particles.
A UV-Vis spectrophotometer (300-800 nm) is used to record the spectrum as electrolyte solution is slowly added over time. The interesting optical scattering effect of the nanoscale particles is also investigated.
The Nanosphere Optics Lab simulation tool is then used to calculate the scattering expected from specific nanosized silver particles according to Mie theory, using computational electrodynamics calculations. Discussion questions lead students to trends between the extinction maximum, the particle size and the refractive index of the solution, and towards matching simulation results with their experimentally obtained spectra.
Exploration of the Oxidation Rate of Silicon Wafers via Simulation
This teaching resource is designed for instructors who would like to introduce exploration through simulation into their lessons on silicon oxidation. Step-by-step instructions are provided for running the process lab oxidation simulation, and guiding questions are provided that should help students discover important trends in the oxidation rate when different process parameters are changed.
Exploring Thin Film Interference Colors through Simulation
This resource will guide instructors and independent learners through the process of simulating the reflections off of a thin film using the S4: Stanford Stratified Structure Solver simulation tool. Examples of a freely standing thin film (a soap bubble) and a thin film of silicon dioxide on a silicon wafer are presented. Some reference to thin film interference and the colors average humans perceive when viewing different energies (or wavelengths) of light are included. The simulations can be easily used in conjunction with other learning materials available on nanoHUB and elsewhere, such as oxidation of silicon wafers and SCME's Deposition Overview.