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Cross Linked Polymers

Module Abstract

This module allows students to investigate and consider priorities of forces and interactions at the molecular scale by mixing different fluids with a cross linked polymer.  The polymer (sodium polyacrylate) is similar to the structure found in cellulose and collagen.  The interactions are dependent upon the charge distribution of the liquid molecules as well as temperature.  By observing the different results with different fluids students can compare and contrast interactions driven by different types of atomic and molecular bonds.

Module Resources and Documents

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Module Information, Procedures and Resources

PowerPoint Slides 

Module alignment to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) & Common Core State Standards (CCSS)
NGSS Alignments Cross Linked Polymers

For a Spanish version of this module, click here.

List of Required Materials

Most necessary classroom materials for the experiment connected to this module are available to educators at no cost until May 1, 2020.  A user account is required to download material and request supplies: simply fill in all the profile fields on your Profile. The full list of items needed for this module is below.  Those available through Nano-Link until May 1, 2020 are marked with an asterisk.

REQUEST MODULE SUPPLIES (offer good until May 1, 2020)

*sodium polyacrylate (Get SDS download from Flinn Scientific here)
Small cups or petri dishes