Inquiry-Based Structural Assessment of Two-Component Metal Nanostructures Electrodeposited in Patterned Polymer Templates

A. Guttenbeil, A. Kiesel, A. Mahir, C. Hutto, K. Bussard, K. McDonald, W. Sanders, R. Valcarce, P. Illes, M. Alvarez, L. Giddings, R. Holcomb, R. Kochambilli, and G. Johnson
Salt Lake Community College,
United States


A faculty-guided student research project involving the synthesis of hybrid copper/silver nanostructures using template-assisted electrodeposition is presented. Two-component metal nano assemblies are formed from the reduction of copper and silver cations in valleys of corrugated polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) templates. This student project incorporates the use of inquiry-based learning. Participating students use backscattered electron imaging and energy dispersed X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) to determine if electrodeposited metal nanostructures form linear, end-to-end assemblies or stacked assemblies.