Week 4


Week 3

Week 3 has been intense for Cluster 2. We began the week recapping the structure of carbon nanotubes as well as discussing the various ways to make them. On Tuesday, we had a guest lecture from Nader Pourmand, a UCSC Professor of Biomolecular Engineering. He discussed single cell nano-biopsy and the potential to measure pH and glucose levels in single cells using nanopipettes. Wednesday, we were introduced to the concept of electricity which involves a conductor and a magnetic field. We also learned about energy sources ranging from fossil fuels to flowing water. On Thursday, in the lab, we created aqueous ferrofluids. Friday, we visited SLAC National Laboratory in Palo Alto, where we learned about the current research done using the linear accelerator by scientists ranging from physicists to biologists. We also viewed the control center for the accelerator and the SPEAR (Stanford Positron Electron Accelerating Ring).

We have been preparing for our upcoming presentations and posters as the fourth week approaches.

Written by Jessica Nunez and Rayna Mehta

Week 2

Cluster Two was busy all of Week Two, new concepts, performing experiments, and going on its first field trip. We began the week with learning about metal oxides and nanotubes. We had the opportunity to make nanotubes out of paper and identify the different structures, ranging from armchair to chiral. On Tuesday, Dr. Dave Belanger, a professor in the Physics Department, was our guest lecturer, discussing iron’s magnetic properties. We also considered the potential of lanthanum cobalt oxide use in electronics due to magnetic moment. Using kits to model the crystal structure of nanoparticles, we analyzed how atoms are organized. Wednesday, we learned about metal oxide-based nanoparticles, including titanium oxide, and its various applications such as photocatalysis. On Thursday, we created cadmium selenide, lead-cadmium selenide, and lead selenide quantum dots, examining how differences in electronegativity affect the color of the particles. We also illustrated nanoparticles’ structures by filling balloons with BB pellets and determined the number of “atoms” in the “nanoparticles.” Friday, we had our first field trip visiting IBM Almaden Research Center where scientists presented their current research on medicine, porous materials, and computer science. We also toured various laboratories such as the spintronics lab, nanoindentation lab and TEM (Transmission Electron Microscopy) lab. Cluster 2 had a great time gaining new knowledge!

Written by Jessica Nunez and Rayna Mehta

Week 1 

The first week of COSMOS has been exciting and eye-opening to the world of nanochemistry. Cluster 2 began the course with a series of lectures, introducing the basic ideas that are involved in studying nanoparticles and nanomaterials. Nanochemistry is the study of particles to which both Newtonian physics and quantum physics apply. We discussed how nanoparticles, ranging from carbon to gold, are used for cancer treatment to remove tumors and lymphoma. They are also being used to create flexible electronics that can be placed on the brain to monitor epilepsy or on the heart to act as pacemakers. Along with discussing their applications, we learned how to create nanoparticles using various methods, such as the Turkevich method for gold nanoparticles. On Thursday, we used this method to synthesize gold nanoparticles from chloroauric acid solution, as well as silver nanoparticles from silver nitrate solution. Using lasers, we saw the scattering of light caused by the presence of nanoparticles and analyzed that the transmission of light was affected by the concentration of nanoparticles. We also created solutions of rhodamine and fluorescein to see more ways light can be fluorescent. Next Friday, we will be touring the IBM Almaden Research Center, where TEM (Transmission Electron Microscopy) was developed. We look forward to continuing our research.

Written by Jessica Nunez and Rayna Mehta.

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