Nanoscience in Teacher Education

The AFMone® Atomic Force Microscope - An Approach to the Topic of "Nano" in Teacher Education


Contact: Dr. Ines Goldhausen


Nanotechnology already plays an important role in science, industry and everyday life and is becoming increasingly important (Bradley 2010). Despite this high relevance, aspects from this field have so far found their way into chemistry lessons only sporadically and have hardly been didactically illuminated. Furthermore, the results of various studies show that there is hardly any specific knowledge in the field of "nano" among students (Wilke & Waitz 2012). One reason for the rare integration of this important topic into chemistry lessons could be that the subject teachers themselves have rather little knowledge in this area and do not feel sufficiently well prepared to teach "nano". This, in turn, is due to the fact that even in the area of teacher education, nanostructure science is addressed rather marginally, if at all. The low level of integration of "nano" in teacher education is probably due, among other things, to the high costs associated with the use of measuring instruments in this field, which is, however, necessary in order to actually be able to explain phenomena.

The AFMone atomic force microscope, which is designed as a learning instrument, enables the regular use of such equipment and real measurements within the framework of teaching courses due to the comparatively low acquisition costs.

It has a measuring range of 100 x 100 micrometers, shows structures down to 20 nanometers and thus provides an insight into micro- and nanotechnology.

The components of the AFMone are freely accessible, allowing learners to gain a realistic insight into the principle of atomic force microscopy by exploring how the system works and how data is acquired and processed. In contrast to other methods, investigations with the AFMone can also make use of samples that the students have prepared themselves. This offers the possibility to investigate the macroscopic properties of nanomaterials and to combine this investigation with sample collection and preparation as well as the analysis of the respective nanostructure. In this way, macroscopic properties can be experienced as a result of the structure at the nanoscale.




J. Bradley, The Recession's Impact on Nanotechnology, Lux Research 2010.

T. Wilke, T. Waitz, in New Perspectives in Science Education: Conference Proceedings (Eds: Pixel), University Press 2012.