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Nanotechnology is a field of technology that is described as the control and manipulation of matter in the 1 to 100 nanometer (nm) range. A nanometer is one billionth of a meter, or one millionth of a millimeter. To put it in perspective, an average sheet of copier paper is about 100,000 nanometers thick so a nanometer is 100,000th the thickness of a piece of copier paper. Certain materials, when prepared at nanoscale levels, display different physical and chemical properties than those of the same materials prepared on a larger scale. In this activity, students synthesize silver nanoparticles from silver nitrate. The particles are synthesized in glucose and starch, as opposed to the more hazardous reagents typically employed.
There are enough materials for 15 groups. Teacher's manual and student copymasters are included. Materials Included in the Kit: 1 0.1M Silver nitrate, 1ml; 1 0.1M Glucose, 5 ml; 1 Soluble starch (to make 50ml of 0.2% solution). Materials Needed but Not Supplied: Micropipettes, 10-100ul; Micropipette tips; Small test tubes (or similar).