Nano Sensors Group | Illinois

Outreach: Campus Middle School for Girls


As part of an NSF-sponsored research grant in which the Nano Sensors Group is developing optical biosensors that can be built into the inner surfaces of flexible plastic tubing, Prof. Cunningham and his graduate students developed a set of discussions and laboratory demonstrations to complement the science curriculum at the Campus Middle School for Girls (CMS). The "Lessons on Light" include description of the wavelike properties of light, the behavior of light in different situations (like refraction, diffraction, and total internal reflection), and the many uses of the electromagnetic spectrum. Laboratory demonstrations conducted by graduate students in the Nano Sensors Group in the Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory show how light's properties are used to enable optical fiber communication, lasers, and biosensors. Biosensors are discussed for their ability to detect bacteria and viruses through their interaction with light waves.

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