Scroll To Top

agpa k-12 outreach banner

Lesson Plans

Return to Lesson Plan Index
Printer Friendly Version

How Does Size and Temperature Affect a Material's Conductivity?

Grades: 9-12
Author: Elif Polat
Source: This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. EEC- 1542358.


Students will be able to measure the conductivity of metals and nanoparticles which will be sintered to be able to conduct the electricity. Also they will be able to observe how different size and temperatures of the nanoparticles affect the conductivity.


What should students know as a result of this lesson?

  • Will be able to give examples of different metallic NPs and relate the bulk properties (upon melting) of those NPs.
  • They will be able to justify the use of NPs coz that requires a much deeper understanding of the concept of NP itself.

What should the students be able to do as a result of this lesson?

  • Students will be able to use the multimeter to measure the conductivity of metals, and nanoparticles.


  • Lab Notebook
  • Scissors
  • Polyimide Film
  • Pen
  • Metals (Zinc, Aluminum, Copper, Silver, Iron, Silver Nanoparticles)
  • Multimeter
  • Oven
  • Safety Equipment: goggles, gloves



Before the lesson on the metallic NPs and relate the bulk properties, students will be given a pretest on their knowledge of NPs, elements in the periodic table, and metal properties.

Day 1:

  1. What are nanoparticles?
  2. What are metals?
  3. Write 5 metals in the periodic table.
  4. What is conductivity?
  5. Can you conduct electricity?

Show the students iron, copper, zinc-use magnet and a multimeter to get them interested in metals.

Assessment: Through discussing the questions with the students, determine that they have a basic understanding of metals and conductivity before beginning of the Ag NPs.


Day 2:

  • Use colorful papers and board markers to make the periodic table only metals!!! (have it on the wall)
  • Students will use some metals (iron, zinc, copper, silver, nickel) and a multimeter, and then they will write down their observations (Lab Notebook)

Assessment: Check students' knowledge about metals - any misconception or do not know that some metals are metal like copper.


Day 3:

  • Discussion - as a whole class, shares the information/observations they gathered.
  • Then as a class, we will write the material property of metals.

Assessment: Students should be able to apply what they have learned about conductivity of metals.


Day 4:

  • Show Ag Nanoparticles sintering and show the images.
  • This method is called Thermal Sintered!!!
  • Drop Ag NPs on a silicon and put it on a hot plate to dry it.
  • Then cut it in small pieces
  • Put it on Aluminum foil and place it in the oven temperatures and times shown below:
    • Temperatures (180 degrees C, 200 degrees C, and 220 degrees C)
    • Times (0.5 hours, 1 hour, and 1.5 hours)
  • After you take out the samples use multimeter to measure the conductivity!!!
  • Make a chart to write your results.
  • Table:
Thermal Sintered 10 nm Ag Particles0.5 hours1 hour1.5 hours
180 degrees C
200 degrees C
220 degrees C


Students will need to know general metals, lab safety, and how to write the elements (symbol)

Best Teaching Practices

  • 5E Learning Cycle
  • Inquiry Activities
  • Conceptual Understanding
  • Problem Solving
  • Real Life Applications

Alignment with Standards

NGSS Standards:

  • C 3-b Advanced Competencies, In addition to the core competencies, teachers of chemistry as a primary field should also be prepared to effectively lead students to understand: Periodic Table, Materials Properties

Ohio Standards:

Chemistry Course Content

  • Interactions of matter
  • Periodic table

Science Inquiry and Application

  • Design and conduct scientific investigations
  • Identify questions and concepts that guide scientific investigations
  • Use technology and mathematics to improve investigations and communications
  • Critical thinking
  • Recognize and analyze explanations and models
  • Communicate and support a scientific argument

Content Knowledge

It is assumed that the average high school knows about nanoparticles and elements (metals) little bit.

Students should already be familiar with the following topics: Elements, Conductivity, and Materials property

Students will expand their current knowledge of metals and be able to perform conductivity


  • Students will wear gloves, goggles, and lab coat in the lab.
  • Heating up the silver will be under the teacher's observation.


Material Engineering


Students will be assessed using a formal labe report along with a Pre-quiz and Post-quiz.

Other Considerations

Grouping Suggestions:

  • Extension lab: Students will be grouped with their lab partners.

Pacing/Suggested Time:

  • 5 class periods (200 minutes)

Printable PDF Worksheets

Safety Disclaimer