Electrodeposition (High School curriculum lesson)

This lab is designed to introduce students to the applications of forcing a chemical reaction using an electrical current. Students will discover how a flow of electrons allows cations in solution to revert to a solid state while plating an object. Students will become familiar with the process which allows the ions of the plating solution to be replenished, and how this results in a loss of mass for the solid metal electrode.

Scientific Image - Zinc Oxide Nanowires

This is a scanning electron microscope image of vertical arrays of zinc oxide (ZnO) nanowires on a sapphire substrate.

Zinc oxide (ZnO) is an ideal material for nanoscale optoelectronics, electronics, and biotechnology applications. Numerous ZnO-based devices have already been developed, including nanowire field effect transistors, piezoelectric nanogenerators, optically pumped nanolasers, and biosensors.

• SIZE: The sample displayed in the image is about 10 µm wide.

• IMAGING TOOL: Scanning electron microscope

Scientific Image - Silicon Nanowire Array

This is a scanning electron microscope image of a silicon nanowire array synthesized for thermoelectric applications.

Thermoelectric materials convert heat to electricity and vice versa. Most fossil-fuel-powered engines generate waste heat, so researchers are using nanotechnologies to explore ways of making thermoelectric devices more efficient in order to convert that waste heat to usable power—and thus save energy.

• SIZE: Each nanowire is approximately 100 nm in diameter.

• IMAGING TOOL: Scanning electron microscope

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