(58b) Integrating Laboratory Modules Based on Scanning Probe Methods into Undergraduate Engineering Education | AIChE

(58b) Integrating Laboratory Modules Based on Scanning Probe Methods into Undergraduate Engineering Education


Killgore, J. P. - Presenter, University of Washington
Ginger, D. S. Jr. - Presenter, University of Washington
Wei, J. - Presenter, University of Washington
Chen, Y. - Presenter, University of Washington
Sarikaya, M. - Presenter, University of Washinton
Gray, T. - Presenter, University of Washington
So, C. - Presenter, University of Washington
Fong, H. - Presenter, University of Washington

Nanoscience and nanotechnology are clearly thought to be key in the development of next-generation technologies and are expected to contribute substantially to the US economy in the future. While research in nanoscience and nanotechnology is progressing at a frenetic pace, education of scientists and engineers to fill future nanotechnology positions is not. To a large degree this is due to the lack of established, formal education available for those interested in nanotechnology. As such, a substantial amount of educational work has occurred recently with the objective of bringing nanotechnology to universities, and particularly undergraduates.

A particular problem is introducing nanotechnology related laboratories to undergraduate curricula that emphasize the tools that precipitated nanoscience and nanotechnology, namely, scanning probe methods (SPM) such as the scanning tunneling microscope (STM) and the atomic force microscope (AFM). Two key factors that inhibit the use of SPM based modules in a laboratory setting are (1) limitations in resources like appropriate instrumentation and (2) the lack of time for instructors to develop appropriate experimental modules. To address these issues, a partnership between researchers and educators at the University of Washington, North Seattle Community College and two companies, Nanosurf, AG and nanoScience Instruments has been forged. In this collaboration we responded to the above needs by (1) developing a new paradigm for operating and maintaining SPM instrumentation to make resources more readily available and (2) designing a series of nanotechnology laboratory modules that can easily be integrated into undergraduate laboratories.

A variety of SPM techniques and topics are involved in these modules including: STM with atomic scale resolution, non-contact AFM, electrostatic force microscopy (EFM), dip-pen nanolithography, force modulation microscopy, and force spectroscopy. To date, we have successfully tested our modules in an undergraduate laboratory workshop, where students were able to have extensive experience in each of the SPM modes of operation. We have found that these modules provide a truly hands-on experience in a classroom laboratory setting with a small student to instrument ratio. Further information and laboratory modules themselves are available at: http://depts.washington.edu/nanolab/NUE UNIQUE/NUE UNIQUE.htm.

*This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0634088, by the Center for Nanotechnology (CNT) at the University of Washington through a UIF graduate fellowship, and by UW GEMSEC (a NSF MRSEC Center).