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A Course In Micro And Nanoscale Mechanics

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Trends in Mechanics Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.34.1 - 8.34.10



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Paper Authors

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R.W. Carpick

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K.W. Lux

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Buck Johnson

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Wendy Crone

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1168

A Course in Micro- and Nanoscale Mechanics

Wendy C. Crone, Robert W. Carpick, Kenneth W. Lux, Buck D. Johnson

Department of Engineering Physics, Engineering Mechanics Program, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Materials Research Science and Engineering Center on Nanostructured Materials and Interfaces, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA


At small scales, mechanics enters a new regime where the role of surfaces, interfaces, defects, material property variations, and quantum effects play more dominant roles. A new course in nanoscale mechanics for engineering students was recently taught at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. This course provided an introduction to nanoscale engineering with a direct focus on the critical role that mechanics needs to play in this developing area. The limits of continuum mechanics were presented as well as newly developed mechanics theories and experiments tailored to study and describe micro- and nano-scale phenomena. Numerous demonstrations and experiments were used throughout the course, including synthesis and fabrication techniques for creating nanostructured materials, bubble raft models to demonstrate size scale effects in thin film structures, and a laboratory project to construct a nanofilter device. A primary focus of this paper is the laboratory content of this course, which includes an integrated series of laboratory modules utilizing atomic force microscopy, self-assembled monolayer deposition, and microfluidic technology.


Nanoscale science and technology are inspiring a new industrial revolution that some predict will rival the development of the automobile and the introduction of the personal computer.1 By observing and manipulating materials at the nanoscale, researchers have been able to develop new materials with novel and extreme properties. These properties have been optimized and exploited, allowing industry to realize nanotechnology-based consumer products, such as light- emitting diodes (LEDs), and computer hard disks. Because of the diversity of disciplines pursuing research and applications in nanoscale science and engineering, nanotechnology has the potential to make an even broader impact.2

The importance of this emerging technology to society and industry requires that undergraduate institutions take steps to adapt their curriculum to ensure a capable future workforce as well as a more scientifically literate general population.3-5 Problem-solving will continue to be an important part of undergraduate education, as will the need to cultivate creative, critical, and entrepreneurial thinking.4,6 Yet, science and engineering undergraduates will need a comprehensive education that includes nanotechnology in order to navigate successfully the

“Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education”

Carpick, R., & Lux, K., & Johnson, B., & Crone, W. (2003, June), A Course In Micro And Nanoscale Mechanics Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11957

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