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Nanotechnology Curriculum


To build an interdisciplinary nanoscale science and engineering academic curriculum at the undergraduate and graduate level.

AEP 102 / ENG 102: Introduction to Nanoscience and Nanoengineering

This is a lecture/laboratory course designed to introduce freshmen to the basic concepts, the techniques and the tools that are central to the rapidly developing field of nanoscience and nanotechnology, and to some of the important scientific and technological innovations that are now emerging, or are expected to emerge, from this field.

The course can accommodate up to 48 students per semester. Major support comes from Applied Materials Corporation. Click here for more detailed information about the course.

Click here for a full description of the lab experiments

Fall 2006:

Professor Robert Buhrman (Course Instructor)
Dr. Monica Plisch (Laboratory Instructor)

Spring 2007:

Professor Herold Craighead (Course Instructor)
Dr. Jon Velazquez (Laboratory Instructor)

Course Description

Nanotechnology is rapidly developing as the promising technology of the future. The ability to fabricate, characterize and utilize material structures on the 1-100 nanometer scale will profoundly influence future developments in physics, chemistry, and biology. At the same time, practical applications of nanotechnology are expected to revolutionize bioengineering, computer engineering, electronics, communications, manufacturing engineering, medicine, transportation and space exploration by making new materials, sensors, and devices. Topics covered will include: nanoscience and nanotechnology - what are they and why are they of interest; approaches to nanofabrication, including photo and electron beam lithography, self assembly and guided assembly, thin film growth, nanoscale etching and pattern transfer; an overview of scanned probe microscopy and analysis including scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM), micromachining and an introduction to micro- and nano- electromechanical systems (MEMS/NEMS); nanoelectronics, nanophotonics and nanomagnetics; biomedical and biophysical applications of nanotechnology. Throughout the course there will be discussion of some of the quantum phenomena that become important at the nanoscale, and consideration of basic physical laws and the limits they place on the nano-world. In the laboratory, students will build a crystal radio, learn how to use photolithography to make an electronic thin film device, grow carbon nanotubes, be introduced to the atomic force microscope (AFM) and use the AFM and the scanning tunneling microscope (STM) to image the nanotube and other nanostructures, and to obtain atomic images. Students will assemble electronics to measure the quantum of electrical conductance and apply these to the measurement of single atom electrical contacts. Other laboratory experiments will include the study of photonic structures and the examination of the properties of magnetic nanostructures.

AEP 102 / ENG 102 Lab classroom. Students gain practical skills and hands-on introduction to several topics in nanotechnology. Each lab section is limited to 10 students to ensure high quality instruction.

Fall 2006 Laboratory Manual

Lab 1 Why Build Things Small?: Shrinking the Electronic Circuit
Lab 2 Photolithography I: Thin Film Deposition and Mask Design
Lab 3 Photolithography II : Pattern Transfer
Lab 4 Synthesis of Carbon Nanotubes and Atomic Force Microscope Demonstration
Lab 5 Imaging Carbon Nanotubes
Lab 6 Atomic Resolution with Scanning Tunneling Microscopy
Lab 7 Quantized Conductance I: Electronics for Detecting Atomic Wires
Lab 8 Quantized Conductance II: Detecting Atomic Wires
Lab 9 Quantum Dots
Lab 10 Giant Magnetoresistance
Lab 1-10 Fall 2006 Laboratory Manual All Labs

AEP 661 Nanocharacterization

A graduate-level introduction to the tools used to image and probe optical, electronic, chemical and mechanical properties at the nanoscale and below. As no single method can provide all these answers, and the field is still developing, the discussion centers on the physics of the interaction processes used for characterization, quantification and interpretation of the collected signals, common artifacts, the engineering tradeoffs made in constructing the actual instruments, and the fundamental detection limits for each method.

Topics include:

  • the interaction of electrons, ions and photons with materials
  • charged particle optics, image formation and sources
  • scanned probe and force microscopy
  • scanning and transmission electron microscopy
  • x-ray microanalysis
  • electron energy loss spectroscopy
  • a brief survey of non-imaging methods such as RBS, Auger spectroscopy and SIMS
  • For a complete overview of the topics in this course click here

Emphasis is placed on those instruments available for use on campus or likely to be encountered in cutting-edge research or industry.

Prerequisites: Assumed knowledge for this course includes Fourier transforms, basic electromagnetism and undergraduate quantum mechanics or chemistry. Undergraduates should consult with the instructor before enrolling in this class.

Click here for more detailed information about the course.

Fall 2006:

Professor David Muller (Course Instructor)

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