A Thin Layer Chromatography Prelaboratory Activity Using a 3D-Printed Model to Address Student Misconceptions about Polarity and Intermolecular Forces

Mauna S. Kareti, William J. Howitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Normal phase thin layer chromatography is a widely taught technique in undergraduate organic chemistry laboratory courses. To understand how the technique works, students must have a strong conceptual understanding of polarity and intermolecular forces. Unfortunately, many students have misconceptions regarding how polarity and intermolecular forces affect the separation of compounds via thin layer chromatography. This work aimed to address these misconceptions by designing and implementing a prelaboratory activity using a 3D-printed model of a TLC plate. Data from pre- and postactivity surveys suggest the activity has a positive impact on student understanding, and student perceptions of the activity are overwhelmingly positive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1392-1397
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Chemical Education
Volume100
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 14 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Kate McKnelly and Renée Link for their feedback on the design of the 3D-printed model. We also thank Christina Pham, Pratyush Una, Timothy West, and Anh Le for their assistance in printing the large number of models needed for the course in addition to the on-campus facilities that gave us their permission to print the models including the Invention Studio, the Hive Makerspace, and the Materials Innovation and Learning Laboratory.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Published by American Chemical Society and Division of Chemical Education, Inc.

Keywords

  • 3D Printing
  • Intermolecular Forces
  • Laboratory Instruction
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polarity
  • Prelaboratory Activity
  • Student Misconceptions
  • Thin Layer Chromatography

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