The next module I cover is on Scanning Probe Microscopy. We have two scanning probe microscopes on campus. The first one is a Nanoscience Instruments Nanosurf. The other is a Veeco/DI CP-II which I am told was formerly a Park Instruments system. I do two lab activities in this section. The students all measure a CD using the CP-II AFM. Since I can only have a few students at a time use the system I have the others do another lab which I included here. This is based on the lab from the University of Wisconsin Madison MRSEC web site:
This site has a number of labs. The video lab manual is very good and there are many other curricular materials here. The actual lab is derived from the documment located here:
I made this using a piece of needlepoint material which I got from a craft store. I then glued a piece of aluminum foil to a piece of card board (matting board actually) and then put different letters from the word "NANOTECHNOLOGY" using scotch tape on the aluminum so the students can't see it. I then glued the needlepoint grid on top. The students use a multimeter to probe the grid therefore simulating the function of a STM. I almost elminated this lab until a student told me it was one of his favorites, discovering the secret image hidden on the surface. This lab also gives you a chance to teach the students how to use a multimeter which is a necessary skill.
I have had some busy weeks and my blog is now quite a ways behind my classes. The next modules will be Spectroscopy and then Nanomaterials: Carbon Nanotubes. I also attended the NSF ATE conference in Washington DC last week.