Surface Area to Volume Ratio (Middle and High School curriculum lesson)

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This lab is designed to help students understand how nanoparticles may be more effective catalysts by investigating how the surface area-to-volume ratio of a substance is affected as its shape changes. This lab is meant to complement a chemistry unit on catalysts. Nanosized materials have a significant portion of their atoms on the surface. Understanding how catalysts work involves studying chemical reactions at the molecular and atomic scale. For this reason, catalysis can be considered one of the earliest forms of nanoscale science. Part 2 is an inquiry-based lab that should be used immediately after doing the Surface Area-to-Volume Ratio of Nanoparticles lab, using the same clay samples as before.


Nano Content Map
Nanometer-sized things are very small, and often behave differently than larger things do.


Year created

National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN) funded by the National Science Foundation

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National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN); © 2007 University of California, Santa Barbara


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