# Form a structure with a nanoscale dimension. Rob Snyder STEM Education Institute University of Massachusetts Amherst.

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Form a structure with a nanoscale dimension. Rob Snyder snyder@umassk12.netsnyder@umassk12.net STEM Education Institute University of Massachusetts Amherst

A Classic Nanoscale Activity Learn about Ben Franklins Observation of a very thin film.Learn about Ben Franklins Observation of a very thin film. Create a very thin film with a very dilute solution of oleic acidCreate a very thin film with a very dilute solution of oleic acid Use scientific notation to calculate the thickness of the thin film of oleic acidUse scientific notation to calculate the thickness of the thin film of oleic acid Describe chemical interactions between Oleic Acid, Alcohol and WaterDescribe chemical interactions between Oleic Acid, Alcohol and Water Be introduced to the Big Ideas of Nanoscale Self-AssemblyBe introduced to the Big Ideas of Nanoscale Self-Assembly

Was Ben Franklin an Early Nanoscientist ?

Excerpt from Letter of Benjamin Franklin to William Brownrigg (Nov. 7, 1773)...At length being at Clapham, where there is, on the Common, a large Pond... I fetched out a Cruet of Oil, and dropt a little of it on the Water. I saw it spread itself with surprising Swiftness upon the Surface... the Oil tho' not more than a Tea Spoonful... which spread amazingly, and extended itself gradually till it reached the Lee Side, making all that Quarter of the Pond, perhaps half an Acre, as smooth as a Looking Glass....

... the Oil tho' not more than a Tea Spoonful...... perhaps half an Acre CHALLENGE: How thick was the film of Ben Franklins oil? Volume = (Area)(Thickness) V = A T V = 1 teaspoonful A = 0.5 acre ~ 2 cm 3 ~ 2,000 m 2 T = V/A 20,000,000 cm 2 T = 2 cm 3 20,000,000 cm 2 T = 0.0000001 cm T = 1 x 10 -7 cm T = 1 x 10 -9 m T = 1 nanometer

It would be difficult to conduct a thin film experiment on the UMass Amherst campus pond.

Different sizes of plastic tray can be used to experiment with thin films. However, you need to use much less than a teaspoon of oil. Different sizes of plastic tray can be used to experiment with thin films. However, you need to use much less than a teaspoon of oil. Results from groups using large and small trays can be compared.

You will form a thin film of oleic acid on the surface of water. Oleic acid is one of olive oils ingredients.

You will need to make a double dilute solution of oleic acid. Water is in either a large or small tray.Water is in either a large or small tray. Make a double dilute solution of oleic acid in alcohol.Make a double dilute solution of oleic acid in alcohol. Determine of a very dilute solution are in one cm 3 of the second dilute solution.Determine how many drops of a very dilute solution are in one cm 3 of the second dilute solution. Evenly sprinkle a layer of baby powder or lycopodium powder across the surface of the water.Evenly sprinkle a layer of baby powder or lycopodium powder across the surface of the water. Let one drop of the very dilute solution of oleic acid spread across the surface of the water.Let one drop of the very dilute solution of oleic acid spread across the surface of the water. The alcohol solvent will dissolve in water leaving a thin film of oleic acid solute on the surfaceThe alcohol solvent will dissolve in water leaving a thin film of oleic acid solute on the surface Measure the average diameter of the somewhat circular layer of oleic acid.Measure the average diameter of the somewhat circular layer of oleic acid.

Thin films will have many shapes which require more than one measurement of diameters.

A Sample Calculation A Sample Calculation These steps correspond to the sequence of calculations on the calculation worksheet. These steps correspond to the sequence of calculations on the calculation worksheet. Step 1: The volume fraction = 1 / 25 Step 2: 0.04 cm 3 Step 3: 0.04 cm 3 / 25 = 0.0016 cm 3 A group determined that 40 drops of the second dilute solution = 1.0 cm 3. A group determined that 40 drops of the second dilute solution = 1.0 cm 3. Step 4: If a group determined that 40 drops of the second solution of oleic acid had a volume of 1.0 cm 3 ; Then 0.0016 cm 3 / 40 = 0.00004 cm 3. A group recorded the average radius as 7.25 cm

Does the film have a nanoscale dimension? Step 5: Area = 3.14 x R 2 The area of a thin film with a radius of 7.25 cm film is 165.05 cm 2 Step 6: If Volume = Area x Depth; If Volume = Area x Depth; Then: Depth = Volume / Area and the thickness of the example groups film would be 2.42 x 10 -7 cm. Then: Depth = Volume / Area and the thickness of the example groups film would be 2.42 x 10 -7 cm. Step 7: 2.42 x 10 -9 meters Step 8: 2.42 x 10 -9 m = 2.42 nanometers

Why did oleic acid form a thin film? Oleic acid molecules have a polar ends that are attracted to polar water molecules.

When you poured a small amount of oleic acid onto the surface of water, electric interactions caused the oleic acid molecules to self-assemble into a thin layer. - Charge on an oxygen atom + charge on a hydrogen atom Water molecules in a tray.

Weak van der Walls forces describe the attraction between adjacent hydrocarbon chains. They are strong enough for the thin film to maintain its integrity as it spreads across the water.

In a small drop of oleic acid there are billions of oleic acid molecules that will stand up like blades of grass on the surface of water In a small drop of oleic acid there are billions of oleic acid molecules that will stand up like blades of grass on the surface of water. If you formed a monolayer, then you also calculated the length of an oleic acid molecule. The generally accepted value for the length of an oleic acid molecules 1.97 nanometers.

Three molecular substances were used in this activity. What two roles did alcohol play? Oleic acid Isopropyl Alcohol Water

Perhaps you did not form a monolayer. Non-polar ends of oleic acid

The thin film of oleic acid forms a Langmuir Film. The thin film can be confined to a specific area with a barrier. You used baby powder as a confining barrier. The thin film of oleic acid forms a Langmuir Film. The thin film can be confined to a specific area with a barrier. You used baby powder as a confining barrier. water hydrophobic end hydrophilic end

A Few Questions What might be some sources of error when calculating the thickness of a layer of oleic acid? What might be some sources of error when calculating the thickness of a layer of oleic acid? How could the sources of error be minimized? How could the sources of error be minimized? What would be some challenges when using a tray the size of a dinner plate? What would be some challenges when using a tray the size of a dinner plate? In what ways in this activity an example of nanoscale self-assembly? In what ways in this activity an example of nanoscale self-assembly?

The Big Ideas in Nanoscale Self-Assembly Structural components are mobile.Structural components are mobile. The goal is a low energy equilibrium state.The goal is a low energy equilibrium state. Ordered structures result from a less ordered system.Ordered structures result from a less ordered system. Assembly is a result of attractive or repulsive forces between the components.Assembly is a result of attractive or repulsive forces between the components. An environment is selected to induce designed interaction.An environment is selected to induce designed interaction. Components retain physical identity through and after.Components retain physical identity through and after. The process is reversible or adjustable.The process is reversible or adjustable. Whitesides & Boncheva (2002)

A Few More Questions How many ways can the oleic acid thin film activity be seamlessly integrated into the K-12 STEM Curriculum? What essential knowledge is associated with this activity? What essential skills are associated with this activity?

UMass Amherst Nanotechnology Curriculum Resources are available at http://umassk12.net/nano/ http://umassk12.net/nano/ Materials include student activity documents, teacher guides that include sample calculations, worksheets (with and without hints for making calculations), multimedia modules that enrich what students learn doing an activity and PowerPoints presentations.

K-12 Curriculum Materials are also available at the Center for Hierarchical Manufacturings web site. http://chm.pse.umass.edu/education_outreach/instructional

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