Fundamentals of Nanoscience 2 Course Overview

I am currently about 5-6 weeks into the second semester nanoscience course. This course is primarily focused on giving the students a background in electronics, electronic devices and microfabrication using photolithography. Eventually the students will take this course concurrently with Fundamentals of Nanoscience I. This course might be more appropriately titled "Introduction to Microfabrication" or "Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology"The textbook I use is entitled "Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology" by Michael Quirk and Julian Serda. I have used a variety of different books for this course but this one has been working out really well for what I want to cover this semster. Following is a week by week schedule for this course:Introduction and ReviewThe electronics industryElectrical symbols and schematicsElectrical properties of materialsIntroduction to CAD (PCB)Ohms Law and ResistanceResistors and resistivitySemiconductors, transistors and active devicesClean roomsFabrication process overviewThin Films 1Photo 1Etch 1Vacuum systems and compressed gasesPlasmasThin Films 2Photo 2Etch 2Students in this semester are required to complete the following:Fabricate a printed circuit board and solder devices to create a functional circuitPerform a cross sectional analysis of a computer chip and obtain SEM and EDS analysisPattern a metallized wafer in the clean room.Final project/poster that includes at a minimum: 1 SEM image, 1 AFM image, 1 EDS analysis. The poster may be on any topic the students choose but they are encourged to work with local industry to complete their project.Students also receive points for time spent using the SEM and AFM.Students this semester are also taking the first semester of a Cell Biology course. The text book is Essential Cell Biology by Alberts et al.Ideally we would like to balance our three thrust areas each semester:1. Micro and nanofabrication (clean room, photolithography)2. Materials characterization (Nanomaterials, SEM, AFM, EDS, XRD etc)3. Biotechnology (Cell biology, biotechnology etc.)
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  • Very Nicely designed course and the views of Professor are excellent
  • Our SEM is a JEOL 6060LV which was about the same cost as the portaSEMs ~$75k US. The EDS system was an additional $75K US. The students use this equipment extensively throughout their courses. For the first lab activity students bring in a sample of their choice. I put them in groups of 3-4. I keep the other students occupied with other activities and bring in the students to work on the SEM. We have a laboratory assistant who can help out too to show the students how to operate the SEM while the instructor conducts other activities. First semester we typically have 16-20 students. We then do another activity with cabon nanotubes and look at them in the SEM. I have some larger multi-walled nanotubes that can be imaged in our SEM. I also have some SiO2 nanoparticles we synthesize from TEOS here and those are 500 nm so they can be imaged easily in the SEM.

    You will also need to consider a sputter coater for sample preparation which cost about 10K new but you may be able to find a company to donate an old one or buy one used.

    If you are doing biological sample preparation on cells you will need a critical point dryer which I think costs $5K -$10K. This is a much longer lab that we do in our later nanobiotech classes. We do not currently do the Osmium steps of the process but it seems to work OK.
  • I used to do more MEMS in this semester but I find it hard to cover so many different topics with the right amount of depth so I have backed off from the MEMS this semester. I need to save some stuff for later semesters. The MEMS activities I used to do were the cantilever labs created by Matt Pleil at the Southwest Center for Microelectronic Education (SCME) which can be done with a meter stick, mirror, laser and digital camera, a model of a mems acceleraometer which can be done with cardboard cutouts and aluminum foil, and a peristaltic pump using rubber tubing and clothespins.
  • One thing I added to this course was a short set of lectures on using mciroelectronics and MEMS sensors in a system. Using the admittedly rather old Parallax STAMP micrcontroller kits, I let them design a simple system using a MEMS accelerometers and some other sensors. You could argue that this goes beyond the intent of courses like this but I think showing how these devices are used in a complete system provides a good culmination for discussions of microelectronics. One thing I emphasized was taking a system view rather than suboptimizing on a particular component.
  • This sounds great. I would like to develop a nanomedicine course with a heavy lab component but am hindered by how to analyze the materials that we synthesize. How many students can your course support? What kind of SEM and EDS equipment do you use in this class? Is it like the Hitachi bench top variable pressure SEM or do you use a full sized SEM? Do to the kids have hands on experiences or do you send them to someone else to do the analysis? Thank you for the info.
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