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Development of a New Lecture/Lab Course on Quantum Mechanics for Engineering Students

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Laboratory Development in ECE

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.478.1 - 22.478.11



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Paper Authors


Vladimir Mitin University at Buffalo, State University of New York

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Vladimir Mitin, SUNY Distinguished Professor at the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York. He was the Chair of that Department for two terms: 2003 - 2006 and 2006 - 2009. During 1993 - 2003, he was a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. His fields of specialization are nanoelectronic, microelectronic and optoelectronic devices and materials. Currently he is working in the following areas: design and simulation of devices; heat dissipation in nano-structure and nano-devices; light absorption and emission in inhomogeneous materials, heterostructures, and nanostructures. Special emphasis in his research now is in simulation and modelling of nanosensors, and quantum dot infrared photodetectors. He has more than 500 publications including ten patents, four monographs and five textbooks.
He obtained his Doctor of Science degree in 1987 from the Institute of Semiconductors of Ukrainian Academy of Sciences in Kiev, Ukraine.

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Nizami Z. Vagidov University at Buffalo, State University of New York

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Dr. Nizami Vagidov is a Research Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at University at Buffalo. He is an author and co-author of more than 90 publications mostly in the field of electronics and nanoelectronics. He taught undergraduate and graduate courses at Wayne State University, Detroit, MI. In 2010, he with two co-authors has published an introductory to quantum mechanics textbook for undergraduate students “Quantum Mechanics for Nanostructures”.

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Athos Chariton Petrou

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Xiufeng Liu University at Buffalo, State University of New York

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Development of a New Lecture/Lab Course on Quantum Mechanics for Engineering Students Vladimir Mitin, Nizami Vagidov, Xiufeng Liu, and Athos Petrou University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, Buffalo, NY 14260-1920A new combined lecture/lab course on quantum mechanics EE 418/518 “Quantum Mechanicsfor Engineers” for University at Buffalo (UB) engineering students has been developed under thesupport of NSF grant “DUE-0837670, CCLI: First course in nanoelectronics for engineers”.The lecture part of this course has been developed and pilot tested at UB in Fall 2009 semester.During Fall 2010 the combined course is taught for the first time. The textbook “QuantumMechanics for Nanostructures” by V. Mitin, D. Sementsov, and N. Vagidov was developed forthe course and published by Cambridge University Press just before the Fall 2010 semester. Theemphasis in the course is placed on the learning of quantum-mechanical concepts by consideringnanostructures as examples of microscopic objects. These structures are used in a large numberof modern electronic devices. As part of the lab, the students will explore some of thenanostructures discussed in lectures. This significantly improves the understanding of quantummechanical concepts and principles which define the operation of nanostructure devices.In order to evaluate engineering students’ understanding of quantum-mechanical concepts, twomultiple-choice paper-pencil tests, one as pre-test and another as post-test, have been developed.The pre-test contains 15 lower difficulty questions and has been given at the beginning of thesemester. The pre-test assesses the students’ knowledge of quantum-mechanical concepts priortaking the course. The post-test, which contains 40 questions of varying difficulty and includesthe 15 questions from the pre-test, will be given at the end of this semester. The test will assessthe students’ progress in understanding of quantum-mechanical concepts. Assessment andevaluation plan also includes two survey forms: “Survey of Students’ Interest toward QuantumMechanics (SSIQM)” and “Evaluation of Effectiveness of Quantum Mechanics CourseMaterials”. In order to evaluate students’ ability to solve experimentally quantum-mechanicalproblems, 1.5 month before the end of the semester, students will be asked to solve a specificproblem in pairs. The above-mentioned instruments will be given to students for multiple yearsto validate the instruments.The lab part of the course that will help students to comprehend quantum-mechanical conceptsincludes nine experiments that were newly developed. In particular:Photoelectric effect: waves behaving as particles. Carrying out this lab students explore thephotoelectric effect and determine the value of Planck’s constant.Study of InAs quantum dots using atomic force microscope (AFM). The students use atomic forcemicroscope to determine the sizes and shapes of InAs quantum dots grown on semiconductorsubstrates.Interband transitions between conduction and valence confinement subbands in GaAs/AlGaAsquantum wells. Students become familiar with the technique of reflectivity and apply it for thestudy of interband transitions between the conduction and valence subbands in GaAs/AlGaAsquantum wells.

Mitin, V., & Vagidov, N. Z., & Petrou, A. C., & Liu, X. (2011, June), Development of a New Lecture/Lab Course on Quantum Mechanics for Engineering Students Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17759

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