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Developing A Lab Course In Nanotechnology For Undergraduate Engineering Students

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.385.1 - 13.385.8



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Paper Authors

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Vladimir Mitin University at Buffalo, The State University of New York

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Nizami Vagidov University at Buffalo, The State University of New York

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Xiufeng Liu University at Buffalo, The State University of New York

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

Developing a Lab Course in Nanotechnology for Undergraduate Engineering Students


Nanotechnology is an area of strategic importance for future industry. Department of Electrical Engineering in collaboration with the Department of Physics has developed a new Interdisciplinary Nanoelectronics Laboratory for the Engineering/Science Undergraduate Curriculum at the University at Buffalo (UB). This is one of the very first and unique teaching laboratories in the area of nanoelectronics in the country for second and third year undergraduate students. Nine laboratory experiments as well as the manuals for these laboratory experiments have been developed. The list of the laboratory experiments includes: Propagation of Errors; Introduction to Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM); Study of the Highly Oriented Pyrolytic Graphite (HOPG) Surface Using STM; Introduction to Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM); Study of the Morpho Butterfly Wing Structure Using AFM; Diffraction of Electrons from Graphite; Diffraction of Light by a Double Slit - One Photon at a Time; Optical Absorption by CdSe Nanocrystals; Photoluminescence from InP Quantum Dots (QDs). This unique Laboratory was already used by local high school students who visited it during special events organized by the University. During the Summer 2007 semester, the laboratory has been used to train Science teachers from local schools. Nineteen undergraduate students were enrolled in lab course in the Fall 2007 semester. This paper reports a study on the effectiveness of the above newly developed nanotechnology laboratory course.


Nanotechnology is a rapidly developing area and is strategically important for future industry. As a result, many countries have invested not only in nanotechnology research and development, but also in nanotechnology education. In the US, the 2001 National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) ( calls for developing educational resources, a skilled workforce, and the supporting infrastructure and tools to advance nanotechnology. The need for nanotechnology education in the US has also been raised in the literature1. However, an undergraduate degree program in nanotechnology is currently still not commonly available in US universities, although some research universities with extensive research expertise have started offering various forms of nanotechnology undergraduate curricula2,3. Goodhew4 summarized three possible formats for nanotechnology education, classifying them as types A, B, and C. Type A programs offer specialized “short modules” to graduate or undergraduate students. Type B programs offer specific Master degrees to graduate students with adequate background in large-scale science, and type C programs construct new undergraduate curricula, in which nano- concepts play a central role from the start. As an example of type C programs, the University at Buffalo (UB) has developed and offered a nanotechnology lecture-based course EE 240 for undergraduates each Spring semester beginning from 2005. The hands-on lab course EE342/PHY342 “Nanoscience Laboratory”, which is based on the lecture EE 240 course, has been developed and offered for the first time in the Fall 2007 semester. These two courses precede the four existing nanotechnology courses that are offered to the UB senior undergraduate

Mitin, V., & Vagidov, N., & Liu, X. (2008, June), Developing A Lab Course In Nanotechnology For Undergraduate Engineering Students Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--4015

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