eXperiment: Self Assembly on Surfaces
Primary Objective(s):

Kinetics and thermodynamics of adsorption.

Secondary Objective(s):

Introduction to a quartz crystal microbalance (QCM).

Description:

In this experiment students use a QCM to measure mass as a function of time as entities adsorb to a gold surface.

In one experiment students monitor the adsorption of long-chain alkanethiols to the gold electrode on the quartz crystal. By varying concentration and temperature, students investigate adsorption kinetics and thermodynamics. Students are initially provided with ten quartz crystals, a series of alkanethiols, and a limited selection of solvents.

In a second experiment, students monitor the adsorption of gold nanoparticles. Students are initially provided with ten quartz crystals, alkanedithiols, alkanethiols, native gold nanoparticles in water (or ethanol), and solvents. Students may use dithiols to coat either the gold nanoparticles or the gold surface of the quartz crystal.

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