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An Interdisciplinary Curriculum For Microelectronics

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.175.1 - 6.175.9

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Paper Authors

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Subhash Sarin

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Louis Guido

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James Heflin

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Robert Hendricks

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

Session 1526

An Interdisciplinary Curriculum for Microelectronics

Robert W. Hendricks, Louis J. Guido, James R. Heflin, and Subhash Sarin Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


A group of ten faculty members from four departments and two colleges are developing an interdisciplinary undergraduate and graduate curriculum in the area of microelectronics, optoelectronics, and nanotechnology. Our goal is to introduce the concepts of microchip fabrication in the sophomore year and then develop an option or minor in microelectronics engineering, open to students from various branches of engineering and the sciences, that may be completed as part of the curriculum in each participating department. We have developed an introductory microchip fabrication laboratory in which students process 4-inch wafers to create working nMOSFETs and other devices. It is anticipated that this course will be required of all students in Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, and Physics, and has only freshman chemistry as its prerequisite. Interested students who then select the microelectronics option then take a sequence of core courses in solid state physics and semiconductor processing technologies, and select electives from a menu including range of electronics materials processing courses, semiconductor devices, semiconductor manufacturing processes, optoelectronic devices, photonic and optical materials, and nanotechnology.

We have designed our curriculum to take advantage of Virginia Tech’s five-year bachelors/masters program for honors-level students and have revised our entire entry-level graduate program offerings to mesh with our undergraduate program. The advanced courses are designed such that students in the five-year option, as well as entering graduate students, can pursue courses in all areas of electronic materials and semiconductor manufacturing.

We are working with several semiconductor manufacturing firms to develop a co-op program that will allow students to work in state-of-the-art production facilities in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the option.

I. Introduction

This paper describes a comprehensive revision to the curriculums of several disciplines at Virginia Tech to develop an innovative combined curriculum and research experience for the design of microelectronics devices, processes and manufacturing operations which integrates current research from various areas of microelectronics manufacturing. The participating faculty members are able to draw on research expertise in the fields of solid state physics, semiconductor processing, electronic ceramics, optoelectronics materials, power semiconductor devices and power ICs, electronics packaging, VLSI design, nanofabrication technology, and operational control of semiconductor manufacturing processes. A three-course core is being developed to level the background of entering students from various disciplines. In addition, several tracks of advanced study are proposed in the areas of processing, devices, nanofabrication, and manufacturing/operations planning. All the students get hands-on experience in the newly

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Sarin, S., & Guido, L., & Heflin, J., & Hendricks, R. (2001, June), An Interdisciplinary Curriculum For Microelectronics Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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