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Teaching Nano Fabrication Materials Processing To Non Materials Majors

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Teaching Ceramic, Polymer, and Electric Materials

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.1086.1 - 7.1086.6



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Paper Authors

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Richard Gilbert

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Andrew Hoff

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Marilyn Barger

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

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Session 1923

Teaching Nano-Fabrication Materials Processing to Non-materials Majors Andrew M. Hoff(1), Marilyn Barger(2), and Richard Gilbert(1) (1) University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida 33620 / (2) Hillsborough Community College, Brandon, Florida 33619


A new course under development that is designed to provide a broad understanding of the opportunities and limitations imposed by the processing of materials and structures in the micrometer to the nanometer regime is introduced. The historic focal point of micro-fabrication courses in engineering colleges has been electronic device manufacture. Accordingly, electrical engineering faculty typically teach this material and the course topics revolve around the construction of predominately silicon-based resistors, diodes, capacitors, metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistors (MOSFETS), and bipolar junction transistors (BJTs).

The advent of a myriad of new applications in recent years, in many cases not involving electronic materials, suggests that a new paradigm be developed for this instruction. Gene-chips, micro-electromechanical systems, micro-fluidic devices, micro-photonic devices, ink jet and aerodynamic disc read/write heads are just a few examples. These innovations were enabled and derived from fundamental unit materials processes that were originally developed to fabricate electronic devices. This new course aims to develop students’ materials process skills and knowledge. We intend to enroll students from the entire science and engineering university community so that they may be prepared to contribute to the many exciting nanometer materials and systems discoveries that are possible as they pursue their careers.

There are many challenges to the success of this endeavor. Principle among these deals with the issues to be addressed if a hands-on laboratory instruction component is to be integral to the course. The resources needed for such instruction, in for example thin-film material deposition, can be significant. We discuss the approach of applying a graphical icon or “visual programming” to the development of process flows or sequences along with the interdisciplinary instructional format applied to an audience with the diversity level anticipated in this course.


A new educational paradigm is needed to develop a skilled workforce capable of designing and building future generations of nanometer-sized electronic and physical structures. This paradigm must also encourage students to think outside of the proverbial “box”. In this case the "box" is represented by the traditional approaches to nano-structure design and construction. The capabilities that have been handed to tomorrow’s professionals through the efforts of

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition Copyright © 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Gilbert, R., & Hoff, A., & Barger, M. (2002, June), Teaching Nano Fabrication Materials Processing To Non Materials Majors Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10604

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