This project is bringing the excitement of fabricating devices and addressing grand challenges in nano-electronics and microsystems to undergraduates, with a particular focus on students at the lower-division. Its intellectual merit lies in the way it addresses the challenge of marrying the limitations of micro/nano fabrication and device performance with hands-on learning approaches, such that when the students take upper-division courses, the material they learn is related to real information processing devices and concepts that the students interact with. The hands-on experience is conveyed through a series of modules that enable the students to design and create a collage of information processing devices, thus strengthening the link between classroom and laboratory work in microsystems. A particularly interesting component of the project is the development of portable fabrication equipment that is relatively low cost, and can be sent to classes at multiple locations. The adaptable modules consist of course material and experimental labs in energy generation and storage, light generation and detection, mechanical sensors and actuators, bio-electrical interfaces, and information processing devices. The modules integrate relevant concepts of material science, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering so that students are able to understand the wider scope of future grand challenge technology developments. Two key factors contribute to the project's potential for broader impact. Firstly, the underlying mix of science and engineering concepts that come together in the processes of nano-fabrication make for compelling study because they are connected to real information processing devices that are familiar to students. Secondly, the low-cost nature of the equipment makes replicability of the project's infrastructure realistic, which in turn increases the potential adoptability (and/or adaptability) of the project by other institutions.

Agency
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Institute
Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE)
Type
Standard Grant (Standard)
Application #
1245680
Program Officer
Lee L. Zia
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
2013-11-01
Budget End
2015-10-31
Support Year
Fiscal Year
2012
Total Cost
$200,000
Indirect Cost
Name
Cornell University
Department
Type
DUNS #
City
Ithaca
State
NY
Country
United States
Zip Code
14850