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A Modular Approach for Teaching a First Undergraduate Course in NanoElectronics

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

NSF Grantees' Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.71.1 - 25.71.8



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Paper Authors


Syed Iqbal Omar P.E. Texas A&M University, Kingsville

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Syed Iqbal Omar is a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Texas A&M University, Kingsville. The areas of his current research interests are computational nanotechnology and spintronics.

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Reza Nekovei Texas A&M University, Kingsville

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Reza Nekovei is a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Texas A&M University, Kingsville. He has many years of experience in developing graduate and undergraduate programs. Nekovei is currently co-PI for two NSF projects related to teaching by design research and development, one in nanotechnology (NSF-NUE) and another in robotics (NSF-CCLI). He was a senior Fulbright grantee at Bucharest Polytechnic University during the 2008-09 academic year, where he performed collaborative research in computationally complex circuits and studied “teaching by design” methodology. Nekovei was the recipient of a university distinguished teaching award in 2008. He is a member of IEEE and Etta Kappa Nu honor society.

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Amit Verma Texas A&M University, Kingsville


David W. Stollberg P.E. Georgia Institute of Technology

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David W. Stollberg, P.E., received a B.E. degree in mechanical and materials engineering from Vanderbilt University in 1988, a M.S. in materials science and engineering also from Vanderbilt University in 1990, and a Ph.D. degree in materials science and engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2000. In 2007, Stollberg joined the Electro Optical System Laboratory at the Georgia Tech Research Institute as a Senior Research Engineer in their Microelectronics and Nanotechnology Laboratory. He is also a materials science and engineering instructor for the School of Material Science and Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. His research involves nanostructures and nanofabrication with carbon nanotubes, nanopowders, and nanometer thin films for various applications including ballistics, mechanical properties improvement, thermal barrier coatings, microbe protection, electron field emission, photovoltaics, power generation, sensors, batteries, capacitors, tunable capacitors, and other applications. Other research includes combustion CVD, mechanical properties (nanoindentation), and characterization of nanomaterials, biomaterials, and polymers via TEM, electron diffraction, SEM, EDX, and XRD.

Prior to Georgia Tech, Stollberg was an Assistant Professor of physics at Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Ga., and a senior research scientist for MicroCoating Technologies of Atlanta Ga. Stollberg is a registered Professional Engineer in mechanical engineering and is a former U.S. Navy Civil Engineer Corps officer and U.S. Naval Academy Master Instructor in mechanical engineering. He is a member of The Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society (TMS), Materials Research Society (MRS), and IEEE. He also serves on several committees and other societies and has authored several articles on micro and nanoscale thin films and materials. He holds one patent and has several inventions patent pending.

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A Modular Approach for Teaching a First Undergraduate Course in NanoElectronicsThe paper describes the development and teaching of a first undergraduate course innanoelectronics. The uniqueness of the course lies in the following facts: It is modular instructure. Computational nanotechnology has been made an integral part of the course. Itprovides hands-on experience with real samples and equipment. High-Performance ComputingCluster (HPCC) has been used for modeling and simulation. Modeling and simulation areindispensable in understanding the physical processes in nanoscale devices and their design anddevelopment.The course has been developed for a university that does not have many state-of-the-art facilitiesavailable at larger research universities, and at the same time caters to a student population withgreat diversity in background preparation. The course was offered at the junior/senior level toelectrical engineering majors. The main objectives of the course were to teach: Thecharacterization and fabrication of nanomaterials, simulation of nanomaterials and devices,operation and design of devices, and the design and fabrication of integrated circuits, at thenanoscale.The course was divided into four modules and was developed by four faculty members using aniterative procedure. The four faculty members had expertise in the areas of nanoscale fabricationand characterization, computational nanotechnology, nanoscale devices, and nanoscaleintegrated circuits. Keeping in view the course objectives, the time constraint, and thebackground of students, each faculty member suggested tentative topics to be included in theirrespective modules. After several iterations, the topics to be included in individual moduleswere finalized.The four modules in the course were: Introduction to nanoscale fabrication and characterization,basic computational nanotechnology, introduction to nanoscale devices, and introduction tonanoscale integrated circuits. Topics in fabrication and characterization included: Depositiontechniques, clean-room and photolithography techniques, and scanning and transmission electronmicroscopy. In basic computational nanotechnology, carrier transport problem, quantummechanics, energy bands in solids, scattering, and semi-classical carrier transport based onBoltzmann Transport Equation were discussed. Nanoscale devices included: Nanotubes andnanowires, HFETs, HBTs, Quantum Wells, and semi-classical device modeling of FETsincorporating nanotubes and nanowires on HPCC. In nanoscale integrated circuits, scalingissues, fabrication process issues at nanoscale, and CAD and simulation tools, were discussed.The course was taught during Summer Semester 1 of 2011, by the four faculty members whodeveloped the course. A detailed course schedule, which specified topics which were to becovered each day, was given to the students. The modules were taught in the followingsequence: Basic computational nanotechnology, Nanoscale fabrication and characterization,nanoscale devices, and nanoscale integrated circuits. Students were assigned grades on the basisof in-class assignments and projects. Students evaluated instruction at the end of each module byanonymously filling in a questionnaire. At the end of the course, students provided theirfeedback about the course.The course was well-received by the students. In the light of the experience gained by facultymembers as well as feedback from the students, the course is being revised and will be offeredagain in Spring 2012 semester.

Omar, S. I., & Nekovei, R., & Verma, A., & Stollberg, D. W. (2012, June), A Modular Approach for Teaching a First Undergraduate Course in NanoElectronics Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--20831

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