The Minor in Nanoscale Science & Engineering

Nanotechnology deals with materials, structures and devices with dimensions that are in the 1- to 100-nm length scale. These entities have properties (physical, chemical and biological) that are very different from their bulk counterparts, and they can be tuned to obtain novel and desired functionalities. The goal of this minor is to enhance the student's background, knowledge and skills in the topical area of nanotechnology. The minor includes courses in several fields of science and engineering; it encompasses all of the departments in the McKelvey School of Engineering as well as several departments in Arts & Sciences. It is open to undergraduate students pursuing an engineering degree or a related Arts & Sciences major (e.g., chemistry, physics, biology, environmental studies, pre-med).

The minor in nanoscale science and engineering involves the following components. Starting with courses covering the fundamentals, students gain knowledge in synthesis and applications as well as characterization, structure and modeling. Two additional requirements are the cleanroom lab class (MEMS 5801 Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems I) and the completion of a faculty-supervised independent study project over the course of at least two semesters. The mix of courses should provide the student with a significant background in nanotechnology, and it should promote independent thinking through the student's work on a research or educational project.

Units required: 18

Required courses: Select from the following menus:

Fundamentals (choose one course):

Biol 4810General Biochemistry I3
Chem 401Physical Chemistry I3
Chem 465Solid-State and Materials Chemistry3
EECE 305Materials Science3
MEMS 3601Materials Engineering3
MEMS 3610Materials Science3
Physics 217Introduction to Quantum Physics3
Physics 352Physics of Biomolecules3
Physics 472Solid State Physics3

Synthesis and Applications (choose one course):

EECE 504Aerosol Science and Technology3
EECE 534Environmental Nanochemistry3
EECE 595Principles of Methods of Micro and Nanofabrication3
ESE 436Semiconductor Devices (EECE 595::Principles of Methods of Micro and Nanofabrication)3
ESE 438Applied Optics3
ESE 532Introduction to Nano-Photonic Devices3
MEMS 463Nanotechnology Concepts and Applications3
MEMS 5606Soft Nanomaterials3

Characterization, Structure and Modeling (choose one course):

Chem 479Computational Chemistry and Molecular Modeling3
Chem 543Physical Properties of Quantum Nanostructures3
Chem 550Mass Spectrometry3
EECE 516Measurement Techniques for Particle Characterization3
MEMS 5602Non-metallics3
MEMS 5603Materials Characterization Techniques I3
MEMS 5604Materials Characterization Techniques II3
MEMS 5612Atomistic Modeling of Materials3

Cleanroom Laboratory/Theory Class (choose one course):

MEMS 5801Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems I3
EECE 595Principles of Methods of Micro and Nanofabrication3

Independent Study Project (required):

Students should sign up for at least two semesters of independent study and work on a project related to nanotechnology under the supervision of a faculty member. A list of projects with potential faculty mentors will be circulated during the spring semester each year. Before completing the independent study project, students must be registered for the nanoscale science and engineering minor program, and they must have completed at least two of the courses from the above categories. Students can also come up with their own ideas for projects, but these require approval from the Nanoscale Science and Engineering Minor Committee and a faculty mentor. All independent study projects should address one of the following two criteria:

  • Connect material processing to structural features on the length scale of 1 to 100 nm
  • Connect structural features on the 1-to-100-nm length scale in a material to its physical or chemical properties

The courses listed above will count for elective credit for all Engineering majors; however, students should check with their major advisors to confirm this.

Committee to Oversee Nanoscale Science and Engineering Minor

Rohan Mishra (MEMS, Coordinator), Elijah Thimsen (EECE)

Visit the EECE website for more information.

Contact Info