June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
NSF Grantees Poster Session
23.295.1 - 23.295.10
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. https://peer.asee.org/19309
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