San Antonio, Texas
June 10, 2012
June 10, 2012
June 13, 2012
25.442.1 - 25.442.15
Development and Growth of an Undergraduate Micro/Nano EngineeringLaboratory CourseManufacturing and innovating at the micro/nano scale is a major trend intechnology development. Whether in the traditional submicron manufacturingsystems associated with electronic devices or in emerging areas such asbiotechnology and energy harvesting, micro/nano systems are becomingincreasingly important and prevalent. This paper describes how submicronengineering was brought to mechanical engineering undergraduates throughMIT’s Micro/Nano Engineering Laboratory (2.674). This class is a hands-onlaboratory designed to inspire interest and excitement about engineering at thesmall scale. We present the course design and implementation, discuss thechallenges inherent in starting a new lab course, and review the studentoutcomes as tracked via post-course surveys.The 2.674 laboratory was first offered in the spring of 2008 to 6 students andexpanded significantly to become a mechanical engineering core course in 2010,with over 50 students participating. The course offers an overview of micro/nanotechnology in three main topic areas: MEMS, microfluidics, and nanomaterials. Itis an intensive laboratory course where students experience building,observation, and design of micro and nano scale structures while usingadvanced imaging equipment such as scanning electron microscope (SEM),transmission electron microscope (TEM), scanning tunneling microscope (STM),and atomic force microscope (AFM).Each week, the students attend one lecture (1 hour) and one lab session (3hours). There are six lab modules covering photolithography and micromolding,microfluidic fluid forces, surface patterning, carbon nanotubes, SEM and TEM,AFM imaging and cantilever characterization. Students work in small groups andprepare lab reports for each module, as well as maintain a lab notebook. Themain educational outcomes are to develop an understanding and familiarity withmicro/nano system behavior and the capabilities of characterization tools at thissize scale, while appreciating the connectivity of micro/nano scale systems to thebroader mechanical engineering field.The student response to the micro/nano lab has been highly positive. Couplingthe positive word-of-mouth with increases in the number of mechanicalengineering undergraduates has led to a rapid growth in enrollment for thiscourse. Thus, our future plans involve continued streamlining to make a moreefficient laboratory experience, and developing more transparent teachingmaterials so that the course may be easily transferrable to additional engineeringinstructors.
Comeau, B. M., & Karnik, R., & Kim, S. (2012, June), Development and Growth of an Undergraduate Micro/Nano Engineering Laboratory Course Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/21200
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