Use the Ruby-Red Colloidal Gold Nanotechnology Chemistry Demonstration Kit to show what happens when solid particles “shrink” to a nanometer scale. Measure the absorption spectrum of colloidal gold to study properties of gold nanoparticles.
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Discover the beautiful properties of ruby-red colloidal gold in this introduction to nanotechnology demonstration. Reacting a very dilute solution of gold chloride in water with sodium citrate, a mild reducing agent, produces elemental gold. The gold particles are so small, 20 nanometers in diameter, that the “metallic” gold is uniformly dispersed in a stunning, transparent, ruby-red solution! Measure the visible absorption spectrum of colloidal gold to learn more about the optical properties of gold nanoparticles and their uses. Use this elegant demonstration to show what happens when solid particles “shrink” down to the nanometer scale, one-billionth of a meter.
Concepts: Nanotechnology, colloids vs. solutions, measurements.
Time Required: 20 minutes
Materials Provided: Hydrogen tetrachloroaurate (gold chloride) solution, trisodium citrate solution, sodium chloride solution, Beral-type pipets.
Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
Science & Engineering Practices
Analyzing and interpreting data
Developing and using models
Planning and carrying out investigations
Disciplinary Core Ideas
MS-PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter
MS-PS1.B: Chemical Reactions
MS-PS4.A: Wave Properties
MS-PS4.B: Electromagnetic Radiation
HS-PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter
HS-PS2.B: Types of Interactions
Structure and function
MS-PS1-2. Analyze and interpret data on the properties of substances before and after the substances interact to determine if a chemical reaction has occurred.
MS-PS4-2. Develop and use a model to describe that waves are reflected, absorbed, or transmitted through various materials.
HS-PS1-3. Plan and conduct an investigation to gather evidence to compare the structure of substances at the bulk scale to infer the strength of electrical forces between particles.