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This module, created by the Center for Nanotechnology Education (Nano-Link), introduces students to "the phenomenon of band gaps in light emitting diodes using readily accessible experimental materials, LEDs, and inexpensive digital meters." During the learning activity students build a simple Light Emitting Diode (LED) circuit, calculate the energy of a few colored LEDs, use a voltmeter to determine which LED colors excite each other, and more. 

Learning outcomes for this module are:

  • Describing the band gap structure of LEDs. 
  • Describing the quantized nature of light.
  • Performing calculations to determine the energy of a photon as a function of wavelength (color).
  • Building a simple LED circuit and performing measurements using it. 

The module consists of an instructor guide, a student guide, and presentation slides. The 8-page instructor and student guides include an abstract, learning outcomes, prerequisites, learning activity description and procedure, discussion questions, and more. The presentation slides provide background information on LEDs, including the following topics: properties of light and LEDs, the origin of the band gap, an overview of the learning activity, working with LEDs, circuit design and construction, and more. 

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