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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

Table of Contents

Abstract Volume 21 (2016) pp 195-198

A Project-Based Approach Focused on X-Ray Powder Diffraction Concepts Suitable for Undergraduate Chemistry Students

Cera T. Hsu, Nicholas Brawner and Tolulope O. Salami*

Department of Chemistry, Valdosta State University, 1500N Patterson Street, Valdosta, GA 31698,
Received April 14, 2016. Accepted August 19, 2016.

Published: 28 September 2016

Abstract. X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD) is an important technique that is underutilized in undergraduate curricula. We describe a project-based experiment for undergraduate chemistry, where students worked together in teams to synthesize layered zirconium phosphate and intercalate methylamine into the interlayer space. Students fingerprint their product by comparing the collected diffraction pattern to known substances in the Powder Diffraction File (PDF) database. Monitoring the process of intercalation using XRPD enabled students to learn about the relationship of d-spacing and the θ angle in the Bragg’s equation. Data included herein can be adapted to a simple dry laboratory exercise.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; inorganic chemistry

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (307 KB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:

One supporting file (zip file) is available. A Sample laboratory Procedure for dry lab option, Sample time-line for project based learning, PXRD data in Excel, Peak files for ZrP and ZrP-methylamine (in Excel). (85 KB)

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