Facultade de Fisioterapia

Using a guided-inquiry laboratory experiment to introduce upper-level undergraduate students to the use of nanotechnology in Analytical Chemistry

Authors: I. Lavilla, V. Romero, F.J. Pena-Pereira, C. Bendicho

Journal: The Chemical Educator, 2018, 23, 137-142

DOI: http://chemeducator.org/bibs/0023001/23180137.html


In this work, a guided-inquiry laboratory experiment that introduces the use of nanotechnology with analytical purposes in the curriculum of undergraduate students is proposed. A published laboratory procedure was used as the basis for implementing the experiment with different levels of inquiry. This involves the use of magnetite nanoparticles for determining cadmium in groundwaters by electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry (ETAAS). Nanoparticle synthesis and analyte sorption were carried out simultaneously by ultrasound irradiation, then separation of magnetite nanoparticles was performed with an external magnet. Students were required to apply the experience acquired to Se(IV) determination. This element was selected on the basis of its different interaction with magnetite and difficulty to be determined by ETAAS in the presence of iron from magnetite. Students were assessed taking into account diverse activities such as planning of experiments, laboratory performance or obtained conclusions. A questionnaire to assess students’ satisfaction was also used.