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Creators/Authors contains: "Chen, Z."

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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 15, 2023
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  5. Despite of the ubiquitous presence of passivation on most metal surfaces, the microscopic-level picture of how surface passivation occurs has been hitherto unclear. Using the canonical example of the surface passivation of aluminum, here we employ in situ atomistic transmission electron microscopy observations and computational modeling to disentangle entangled microscopic processes and identify the atomic processes leading to the surface passivation. Based on atomic-scale observations of the layer-by-layer expansion of the metal lattice and its subsequent transformation into the amorphous oxide, it is shown that the surface passivation occurs via a two-stage oxidation process, in which the first stage is dominated by intralayer atomic shuffling whereas the second stage is governed by interlayer atomic disordering upon the progressive oxygen uptake. The first stage can be bypassed by increasing surface defects to promote the interlayer atomic migration that results in direct amorphization of multiple atomic layers of the metal lattice. The identified two-stage reaction mechanism and the effect of surface defects in promoting interlayer atomic shuffling can find broader applicability in utilizing surface defects to tune the mass transport and passivation kinetics, as well as the composition, structure and transport properties of the passivation films.
  6. Online modes of teaching and learning have gained increased attention following the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in education delivery trends likely to continue for the foreseeable future. It is therefore critical to understand the implications for student learning outcomes and their interest in or affinity towards the subject, particularly in water science classes, where educators have traditionally employed hands-on outdoor activities that are difficult to replicate online. In this study, we share our experiences adapting a field-based laboratory activity on groundwater to accommodate more than 700 students in our largest-enrollment general education course during the pandemic. As part of our adaptation strategy, we offered two versions of the same exercise, one in-person at the Mirror Lake Water Science Learning Laboratory, located on Ohio State University’s main campus, and one online. Although outdoor lab facilities have been used by universities since at least the 1970s, this research is novel in that 1) it considers not only student achievement but also affinity for the subject, 2) it is the first of its kind on The Ohio State University’s main campus, and 3) it was conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic, at a time when most university classes were unable to take traditional field trips.more »We used laboratory grades and a survey to assess differences in student learning and affinity outcomes for in-person and online exercises. Students who completed the in-person exercise earned better scores than their online peers. For example, in Fall 2021, the median lab score for the in-person group was 97.8%, compared to 91.7% for the online group. The in-person group also reported a significant ( p < 0.05) increase in how much they enjoyed learning about water, while online students reported a significant decrease. Online students also reported a significant decrease in how likely they would be to take another class in water or earth sciences. It is unclear whether the in-person exercise had better learning and affinity outcomes because of the hands-on, outdoor qualities of the lab or because the format allowed greater interaction among peers and teaching instructors (TAs). To mitigate disparities in student learning outcomes between the online and in-person course delivery, instructors will implement future changes to the online version of the lab to enhance interactions among students and TAs.« less
  7. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2023