Nanotechnology Institute, Day 4

Completed Solar Cells

Day 4 of the Nanotechnology Institute started with the group learning about solar cells from Professor D. Venkataraman.  It was interesting learning exactly how solar cells work, and the different work being conducted on different solar cell materials.  It was also great to learn about the current solar cell research that is being conducted at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Making the solar cell

The second item we did was build our own solar cells.  This activity was quite fun, and turned into a competition for us teachers, aiming to get the highest output. I can see this activity being very useful in the classroom.

We then went through the impacts that nanotechnology can have on society.  I am very interested in the nanomedicine category, and show a clip on a cancer drug based on nanotechnology.  We also ran some experiments with teflon- on a smooth surface water will bead and stick, on a sanded surface, it will flow off very quickly.

We then completed some labs with lithography and electrodeposition.  We were able to use zinc to plate copper.  It was interesting, and very applicable to physics and chemistry classes, but I can’t really see a use in my Biology Classroom.

Electrodeposition Set-up

We worked on posters for the rest of the day, to be shared tomorrow about our academic plans for the year.   


Plating finished product