Teaching band structure to chemistry students

For some years now I have taught the basic ideas of band structure to our final year Chemists. I do this in an entirely non-mathematical way, showing how the bands are formed, and why metals and insulators have the band structures they have. It’s an entirely chemistry-based approach, which I haven’t found taught quite in the same way anywhere else. My lecture notes on this topic can be found here (lecture 2 has most of the relevant material), and my original inspiration came from Smart and Moore’s excellent book, which is one of the main references for the course.

My question is this. Does anyone else out there adopt a similar approach, and if so, would your be prepared to have a discussion about this, and possibly share good practice on this topic? I would also be interested to hear from anyone adopting different approaches, bearing in mind that the more physics-based, mathematical approaches won’t work for students with minimal mathematical background!

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2 thoughts on “Teaching band structure to chemistry students”

  1. Even in first year chem I teach some band structure the metals merge into non-metals. Then I tell them about n-p type bias because the use of this gate is so common and they should know. I use movies that I make. I do not have one for band structure, but here is one for np junctions http://youtu.be/Hk1E7G-nuKM . Also in solid state part of physical chemistry, certainly band structure is discussed in detail: see chapter 16 of Laidler Meister and me physical chemistry ebook: http://bit.ly/UCbmR . I should put the movies on band structure up on YouTube, but right now they are embedded in the Gen Chem and Physics eBooks: http://bit.ly/sweyBk
    I see you teach the Bravais lattices, so you might like to get a movie of these at http://bit.ly/9fBdb0

  2. Thanks Brian. Those links will be very useful. I know that I agreed to review your e-book and have not done so yet. Apologies! I have a bit more time in the coming weeks so hopefully I can still do so (assuming it would be useful).

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