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TiO2 Nanoparticles in Sunscreen—A Course Design Introducing Nanotechnology to Upper Secondary Chemistry Classes

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This article presents a teaching course for high school students, which consists of three sections and aims to provide them a theoretical and practical entry on facets of nanotechnology. Within the introductory seminar, an illustrative exploration of the nanodimension as well as characteristics of nanomaterials in comparison to bulk materials are introduced (e.g., the different surface-to-volume ratio). In the laboratory course, students isolate and detect TiO2 nanoparticles from everyday life products by wet chemical analysis. Additionally, special emphasis is placed on the benefits and value of scientific analytic methods for the characterization of these particles, such as powder X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy. The properties and applications of TiO2 nanoparticles are investigated in several illustrative (model) experiments, including the antimicrobial effect, photocatalytic activity as well as the fabrication of a dye-sensitized solar cell. In a concluding WebQuest, students are requested to critically reflect and discuss the application of nanomaterials in sensitive fields, such as cosmetics and nutrition, in order to foster their communication and assessment competencies.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2016

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  • The Journal of Nano Education (JNE) is a peer-reviewed international journal that aims to provide the most complete and reliable source of information on current developments in nanoscale science, technology, engineering, and medical education.
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