Event Title

Rust Flowers and Zinc Oxide Urchins: Synthesis and Sem Imaging of Metal Oxides in the Undergraduate Chemistry Laboratory

Faculty Advisor

Rebecca Roesner

Graduation Year

2019

Location

Room E104, Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

Start Date

21-4-2018 11:00 AM

End Date

21-4-2018 12:00 PM

Description

With the goal of bringing electron microscopy into the undergraduate chemistry laboratory curriculum, a series of structurally interesting metal oxide microparticles were prepared through hydrothermal synthesis and characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Iron (III) oxide (hematite) particles with flower-like morphology were synthesized either in a stainless steel pressure vessel using a conventional oven or prepared in glass vessels using a laboratory microwave oven. Centrifugation was found to be a cost effective alternative to microfiltration for isolation of the particles. Zinc oxide and bismuth oxide particles with distinctive morphologies were also prepared and studied using SEM. The experimental results demonstrated that particle morphology is highly dependent on additives in the reaction mixture that influence crystallization. In addition to the synthesis and characterization, the dissolution of the hematite microparticles was evaluated at pH=6.0 for possible application in Rotifera feeding studies.

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Apr 21st, 11:00 AM Apr 21st, 12:00 PM

Rust Flowers and Zinc Oxide Urchins: Synthesis and Sem Imaging of Metal Oxides in the Undergraduate Chemistry Laboratory

Room E104, Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

With the goal of bringing electron microscopy into the undergraduate chemistry laboratory curriculum, a series of structurally interesting metal oxide microparticles were prepared through hydrothermal synthesis and characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Iron (III) oxide (hematite) particles with flower-like morphology were synthesized either in a stainless steel pressure vessel using a conventional oven or prepared in glass vessels using a laboratory microwave oven. Centrifugation was found to be a cost effective alternative to microfiltration for isolation of the particles. Zinc oxide and bismuth oxide particles with distinctive morphologies were also prepared and studied using SEM. The experimental results demonstrated that particle morphology is highly dependent on additives in the reaction mixture that influence crystallization. In addition to the synthesis and characterization, the dissolution of the hematite microparticles was evaluated at pH=6.0 for possible application in Rotifera feeding studies.