MIT’s Hands-On Introduction to Nanotechnology


Undergraduate classes provide hands-on introduction to nanotechnology and nanoengineering. MIT.nano.

MIT undergraduates use MIT.nano’s labs to tinker with nanoscales to explore spectroscopic analysis, nanomaterial synthesis, photovoltaics, sensor manufacturing, and other topics. They also have uncommon experience at the undergraduate level — wearing bunny suits and doing hands-on research in a clean room.

In the fall semester of 2021, these students will attend two classes: 6.S059 (nanotechnology — designing from atom to everything) and 6.A06 (First.nano! – Manufacturing their own solar cell at MIT.nano Cleanroom). Did. The Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) aims to introduce nanoscience to undergraduate students through learning focused on design using related manufacturing processes and toolsets.

“Such classes can be a transformational experience for our students,” said Vladimir Bulovic, Fariborz Maseeh (1990), Chairman of Emerging Technology, Director of MIT.nano. “They spread the message that nanoscience is at your fingertips. This is not a distant abstraction, but you can access it now. MIT faculty members within MIT.nano. I am very happy to see what we can learn to inspire and shape future leaders in science and technology. “

Use simple tools to facilitate a wide range of explorations

Class 6.S059 was developed to bridge the foundation of engineering design and the actual construction of functional integration technology. It is usually divided into multiple classes and semesters.

Over a nine-week period, 18 students from five different faculties developed several nanoscale prototyping techniques at MIT.nano, including spin coating, maskless lithography, 3D printing, colloidal synthesis, sputtering, evaporation, and light microscopy. I learned. By focusing on a variety of simple tools, students were able to do a lot of work without the need for extensive professional training. Instead of seeing the teaching assistant move the equipment, these undergraduates can do their own research and, in the process, focus on the mechanics of science rather than how to operate complex setups.

From left to proper: Mechanical Engineering Junior Sophia Sonnert, EECS Senior Sidne Gregory, and EECS Senior Veronica Grant are exhibiting the ultimate mission of 6.S059. The workforce used fluorescent inks and MIT.nano instruments to print the title and MIT sticker on a versatile board. Credit score: Thomas Gearty

“We needed to train the science of what it takes to design nanodevices and techniques in an interactive and hands-on means,” stated EE Landsman (1958), Assistant Professor of Profession Improvement in Electrical Engineering and Pc Science. One co-instructor, Farnaz Niroui, stated. MIT. “Typically, these introductory programs usually take a mathematical / theoretical strategy, which may make it troublesome to preserve pupil curiosity. We train it by an utilized strategy. I made a decision to let the scholars design and construct whereas studying the fundamentals within the course of. “

As a substitute of directing how to carry out every step within the weekly laboratory, Niroui and co-instructor Rajeev Ram, a professor {of electrical} engineering, used mild to observe the ultimate outcome (similar to utilizing mild to observe what’s invisible to the bare eye). After educating), college students will experiment with the meeting of the toolset wanted to get there (such because the design and development of their very own microscopes and handheld spectrometers). The weekly mission was constructed on the earlier one. For instance, undergraduates first designed their very own spectrometers, then manufactured optical grids and 3D print instances to assemble instruments. This gave us a hands-on introduction to CAD design, photolithography, and 3D printing, adopted by enjoying with completely different mild sources and testing the gadget in real-world purposes by measuring leaf chlorophyll and quantum dot emissions. ..

Students load PicoTrack

College students load PicoTrack, a completely automated coat-and-development monitor system for spin coating, spray growth, and paddle growth on 6-inch and 8-inch wafers.Credit score: Gisas del Alamo

Within the remaining mission, the scholars have been divided into groups to design and construct their very own useful units. Every mission requires using supplies and applied sciences lined within the class and has at the least one function lower than 100 nanometers. All six groups finally succeeded with silver nanowires, a 7-segment pixelated show for wearable purposes, a programmable OLED matrix, a lightweight lure microstructure for thin-film photo voltaic cells, and color-adjustable mild. Overcame the problem of making stretch sensors. -Printing of fluorescent ink on mild emitting diodes and versatile substrates.

“It was thrilling and spectacular to see college students design and construct their units after only a few weeks of instruction,” says Lam. “It confirmed that by truly introducing the superior ideas of physics, we may truly present undergraduates with helpful and sensible data of nanotechnology.”

Syamantak Payra

6.S059 pupil Syamantak Payra is a senior within the College of Electrical Engineering and Pc Science, displaying his workforce’s 7-segment pixel show. The group manufactured OLEDs, built-in them into the working circuit (additionally constructed), and output the temperature sensor readings. Credit score: Thomas Gearty

This was the primary 12 months within the nanotechnology class with a concentrate on design. Niroui and Ram hope to broaden it in future semesters and broaden their choices to extra undergraduate college students.

“Many college students say they’re excited to discover the world of utilized science and {hardware} engineering additional,” stated Mayuran Saravanapavanantham, a educating assistant who’s a PhD candidate at EECS. “Some individuals have searched the MIT course checklist for one thing with the time period” nano. ” Saravanapavanantham was one of many three TAs in 6.S059, together with all EECS PhD college students Roberto Brenes and Peter Satterthwaite.

An early glimpse of the Nanoworld

The recommendation seminar “First.nano!” For first graders had an identical purpose. It’s to present undergraduate college students what is feasible on a nanoscale by hands-on expertise in a clear room. Three hours every week, 6.A06 MIT college students discover the MIT.nano facility and co-instructors Jesús del Alamo (Professor of Engineering) and Jorg Scholvin (Assistant Director of MIT.nano Person Providers).

“How can I get first graders fascinated by nanofabrication?” Asks Holg Schorbin. “Take them to a clear room and allow them to study by doing issues within the lab.” This technique was positively intriguing. Greater than 30 freshmen utilized to fill one of many eight slots supplied on the seminar.

College students often don’t enter the clear room throughout undergraduate research, says Scholvin. Del Alamo and Shorbin need to speed up their path to nano-related fields by introducing nanofabrication within the first semester. And these college students, who’ve expertise working in a particle-free setting, can put together for future alternatives, similar to conducting nanoscale analysis with school by the Undergraduate Analysis Alternative Program.

“One in every of First.nano’s objectives was to share our ardour for nanofabrication,” says Del Alamo. “MIT.nano is a rare facility. We hope that by creating alternatives for these college students to work and examine right here, they are going to be extensively obtainable for undergraduate analysis and training.”

Each 6.S059 and 6.A06 undergraduate college students Microsystems Annual Research Conference (MARC), MIT.nano and Microsystems Know-how Laboratories co-sponsored in January. The occasion, which brings collectively greater than 200 college students, school and trade companions to have fun the scientific progress of nanotechnology, historically options displays by graduate-level college students.

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