Synthesizing Gold Nanoparticles via Electrolysis Using Gold Rod and Kudzu Plants
Students will focus on designing and constructing an electrolysis apparatus that will be use gold rods and salt solutions to synthesize gold nano-particles along with the extract taken from various parts of the Kudzu plant. The advantage of performing this type of electrolysis process is to negate the combination of hydrogen gold aurate considered as toxic that scientists normally use in the synthesis of gold nano-particles. Students will use different sizes of rods and concentration of salt and kudzu extract solutions to understand the shape and size of the gold nano-particles. Students will use the state of the art inductively coupled plasma spectrometer at the University of Kentucky laboratory to identify different chemical components to understand the effectiveness of the extract in the synthesis of gold nano-particles. They will also use an ultraviolet spectrometer to find the plasmon frequency to qualitatively determine the size of the nano-particles. Students will conduct an experiment using He Ne laser to determine the refractive index of the colloidal solution. Facilities at the Louisville speed research lab will be used to determine the shape and size of the particles using a Scanning Tunneling electron microscope. Modeling program, MiePlot4211 based on Mie Theory will be used to fit the experimental data to determine the extinction coefficient and radius of the synthesized nano-particles. These coefficients will be used to calculate the mass and number of the nano-particles in the solution. Students will be encouraged to attend state or national conference to present their data to the scientific community.. During this project, students will be concentrating on aspects of team work, fundamental concepts in math, science and engineering discipline that blend the core ideas with scientific and engineering practices and cross cutting concepts.