The NMT Capstone Semester is a 6 course hands-on experience exposing the student to state-of-the art equipment and cleanroom facilities at Penn State. The 18 credits of coursework (defined by the following six course descriptions) can be used toward an associate, or baccalaureate degree, used to earn an NMT Certificate, or both depending on the specific program of the student’s “Home Institution ”. CNEU staff members teach the capstone semester during the spring and summer of Penn State’s scheduled semesters (registrar.psu.edu/academic_calendar/calendar_index.cfm) and continuously evolve these courses to add or update process and characterization technologies. Refinement of the capstone semester is carried out in close consultation with the industry members of the NMT Program’s Advisory Board.
Detailed Course Descriptions
E SC 211
Materials, Safety, and Equipment Overview for Nanotechnology
This course overviews basic material properties as well as environment, health, and safety (EHS) issues in equipment operation and materials handling in “top down” and “bottom up” nanofabrication. The chemical and physical materials properties underlying nanotechnology are surveyed. EHS topics arising from the processing and disposal of these materials are addressed including: cleanroom operation, OSHA lab standard safety training, health issues, biosafety levels (BSL) guidelines, and environmental concerns. Specific safety issues dealing with nanofabrication equipment, materials, and processing will also be discussed including those pertinent to wet benches, thermal processing tools, plasma based equipment, optical, e-beam, stamping and embossing lithography tools, vacuum systems and pumps, gas delivery systems and toxic substance handling and detection.
E SC 212
Basic Nanotechnology Processes
This course is an overview of the broad spectrum of processing approaches involved in “top down”, “bottom up”, and hybrid nanofabrication. The majority of the course details a step-by-step description of the equipment, facilities processes and process flow used in today’s device and structure fabrication. Students learn to appreciate processing and manufacturing concerns including safety, process control, contamination, yield, and processing interaction. The students design process flows for micro- and nano-scale systems. Students learn the similarities and differences in “top down” and “bottom up” equipment and process flows by undertaking hands-on processing. This hands-on overview exposure covers basic nanofabrication processes including deposition, etching, and pattern transfer.
E SC 213
Materials in Nanotechnology
This course is an in-depth, hands-on exposure to the producing and tailoring of the materials used in nanofabrication. The course will cover chemical materials production techniques such as colloidal chemistry; atmosphere, low-pressure and plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition; nebulization; and atomic layer deposition. It will also cover physical techniques such as sputtering; thermal and electron beam evaporation; and spin-on approaches. This course is designed to give students experience in producing a wide variety of materials tailored for their mechanical, electrical, optical, magnetic, and biological properties.
E SC 214
Patterning for Nanotechnology
This course is a hands-on treatment of all aspects of advanced pattern transfer and pattern transfer equipment including probe techniques; stamping and embossing; e-beam; and optical contact and stepper systems. The course is divided into five major sections. The first section is an overview of all pattern generation processes covering aspects from substrate preparation to tool operation. The second section concentrates on photolithography and examines such topics as mask template, and mold generation. Chemical makeup of resists will be discussed including polymers, solvents, sensitizers, and additives. The role or dyes and antireflective coatings will be discussed. In addition, critical dimension (CD) control and profile control of resists will be investigated. The third section will discuss the particle beam lithographic techniques such as e-beam lithography. The fourth section covers probe pattern generation and the fifth section explores imprinting lithography, step-and-flash, stamp lithography, and self-assembled lithography.
E SC 215
This course covers the applications of nano-scale devices and systems and the material chemical, physical, biological, or multiple-property requirements necessitated in these applications. Material modifications to meet these requirements will be addressed including structure control, composition control, surface property control, strain control, functionalization, and doping.
E SC 216
Characterization, Testing of Nanotechnology Structures and Materials
This course examines a variety of techniques and measurements essential for testing and for controlling material fabrication and final device performance. Characterization includes electrical, optical, physical, and chemical approaches. The characterization experience will include hands-on use of tools such as the Atomic Force Microscope (AFM), Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), 1 nm resolution field emission SEM, fluorescence microscopes, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy.