Nanotechnology - Unit Detail

Total duration

16 lessons, 1 hour each

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Lesson 3.1 – Liquid Crystal Technology

Learning outcomes

In this lesson students will:

Big ideas

Learning Sequence

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  1. Welcome students and briefly review the key ideas from the previous lesson.
  2. Discussion – What are the properties of solids and liquids and gases? Using rod shaped particles, invite the students to draw how the particles would be arranged differently in a solid compared to a liquid and a gaseous state. Prepared diagram of three empty beakers which the students can then redraw to demonstrate their particle arrangements.
  3. Collaboration – Students are then invited to share and compare their model with the models drawn by other students. How would you change your model now? Students are given a short time to make any final changes.
  4. Teacher use prepared Powerpoint L3.1 Liquid Crystals.pptx to introduce key ideas on Liquid Crystals. Resources
  5. Discussion – Question students about terms you associate with the particle arrangement for solids and liquids (share the list of key words on the Google Spread sheet). Q - How are liquid crystals like ‘brunch’? Q – What changes occur as a solid changes ‘phase’ into a liquid?
  6. Investigation – Students view the YouTube clip – NFS, Chalk Talk: Liquid Crystals to introduce the basic properties of Liquid Crystals and discuss the types of liquid crystals and the importance of phase. Resources
  7. Investigation – Students view the YouTube clip - LCD Monitor Technique Animation to explore the two main types of liquid crystal orientation: i) Smectic - orientational order and some positional order (liquid behaviour within layers); ii) Nematic - orientational order only. Resources

Home Learning

  1. Invite Students to explore the history of liquid crystals, and the rapid rise of LCD from watches to TV screens. Encourage students to undertake Internet research into a key aspect of the use or development of LCD’s and their wide use in modern display technology. Resources
  2. Student can see a modern LCD screen be disassembled with an explanation of how the thin liquid crystals appear to change colour. Resources