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Collaborative Classroom Tools for Nanotechnology Process Education

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

NSF Grantees' Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.295.1 - 23.295.10



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Paper Authors


Andrew Sarangan University of Dayton

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Dr. Andrew Sarangan is a professor in the Electro-Optics Graduate Program at the University of Dayton. His current research is in the areas of photodetector technologies, polarimetric imaging, nanofabrication, nano-structured thin films and computational electromagnetics. His research laboratory includes thin films, nano-lithography, plasma processes and imprinting technologies. He has developed optical computational tools such as Beam Propagation Method, Finite-Difference-Time-Domain and optical waveguide simulation tools. Prior to joining the University of Dayton, Dr. Sarangan was a research faculty at the University of New Mexico, and also at the Air Force Research Laboratory, where he made several contributions to the area of grating-coupled high-brightness diode lasers. He was also a Research Scientist at Nortel Networks developing a novel architecture for multiwavelength laser diodes. Dr. Sarangan received his B.A.Sc and Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Waterloo in Canada in 1991 and 1997, respectively.

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Joseph W Haus University of Dayton

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Dr. Haus received a Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from Catholic University of America in 1975. He was director of the Elcetro-Optics Program at the University of Dayton from 1999 to 2012 and he was a professor of Physics for fifteen years at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is a fellow of the Optical Society of America, the SPIE and the American Physical Society. His research areas are in quantum and nonlinear optics, nanophotonics, and fiber lasers.

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Surinder M. Jain Sinclair Community College

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Surinder M. Jain is currently serving as PI for a collaborative, NSF Nanotechnology grant with the University of Dayton.

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Jamshid Moradmand Sinclair Community College

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Jamshid Moradmand is a assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio. Moradmand is currently working on his Ph.D. dissertation in the area of nanotechnology and compliant mechanisms. He worked in the automotive industry as a design/development engineer for seventeen years prior to becoming and educator. Moradmand's work and research in the automotive controlled brake systems and suspension systems has provided him with a good understanding of the automotive components. He holds numerous patents and trade secrets in the field of automotive brakes and suspensions.

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Nick Reeder Sinclair Community College

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Collaborative Classroom Tools for Nanotechnology Process EducationNanoscale science and engineering has enabled a large number of electronic, medical andmaterial advances in recent years. Despite its significant societal impacts, nanotechnology israrely taught in undergraduate curricula. This is primarily due to its resource-intensive nature,which brings unique challenges in undergraduate classrooms. Laboratory experience is anessential component in engineering education, which is most commonly accomplished by havingmultiple stations with students working in small groups. In nanotechnology this model isunworkable because almost any experiment involves equipment that are typically too expensive,unsafe or require extensive training to operate. Unlike a circuits lab, or a physical chemistry lab,a single operator error can result in significant downtime and expense. Pedagogical research hasshown that passive approaches alone, such as virtual tools or videos, produce lower studentengagement.Our approach integrates computer simulation tools with live interactive laboratorydemonstrations delivered to the classroom from any nanotechnology laboratory on-campus oroff-site industrial locations. The system is built around the Lifesize® Team 220 videoconferencing system on a mobile platform that can be moved easily, and plugged into the datanetwork to reach the classroom. It has two high-definition cameras and one data input fortransmitting VGA signals from any equipment display. The video and audio are two-way, withmultiple wireless microphones at the student desks, allowing the students to interact with thelaboratory instructor and the laboratory instructor to see the students in real time. The system canalso broadcast, teach and engage students in remote sites, such as elementary, secondary, highschools and community college.For example, we demonstrated a scanning electron microscope (SEM) to a junior year“Introduction to Nanotechnology” course. The instructor, working from a laboratory, was able todiscuss and point out the different parts of the equipment, and then take images from severalsamples of interest, all within the typical class time of 75 minutes. The students in the classroomsaw the same SEM images as the operator, with a real time view of the sample preparation tableand the laboratory environment. At all times they could converse with the laboratory instructorand ask questions. Since it is a mobile system, it can be easily moved into any other laboratory,such as for demonstrating an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) or Transmission ElectronMicroscope (TEM). It is also used for conducting virtual tours of a cleanroom nanofabricationlaboratory, where the laboratory instructor can demonstrate thin film deposition,photolithography and etch processes.This concept of remotely interacting with a laboratory instructor is supplemented with virtualtools for developing and understanding nanofabrication process sequences. We have developed aLabVIEW-based nanofab process trainer to capture the main steps in a fabrication process. Thissoftware can be installed in the students’ own computers, and allow them to sequence andvisualize the step-by-step deposition, patterning and etch steps of typical device fabricationprocesses. The students can change process parameters and put a wafer through different steps toget a final functional device.

Sarangan, A., & Haus, J. W., & Jain, S. M., & Moradmand, J., & Reeder, N. (2013, June), Collaborative Classroom Tools for Nanotechnology Process Education Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19309

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