August 4, 2006 || Nanotechnology Researchers Attend Nano Boot Camp
Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering Nanotechnology Researchers attend 'Nano Boot Camp'
A team of post-doctoral researchers, graduate, and undergraduate students from the Nanotechnology Research Laboratory representing the Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering at UNLV, and working under the supervision of Dr. Biswajit Das, recently attended the '4th ASME Nano-Boot Camp' held July 10-14, 2006 at University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.
The bootcamp featured a variety of topics that featured diverse disciplines within the field while also exploring the fundamentals of Nanotechnology. The presentations were given by experts in academia and industry. The main topics covered in the bootcamp included physics in mesoscopic and nanometer scales, thermal properties of materials at nanoscale, nanoscale magnetics, nanoscale lithography, nanowires, self-assembly process, nano electronic/optical device fabrications, and a range of tools used specifically for nanoscale research/manufacturing, such as Atomic-Force Microscope(AFM); Scanning-Electron Microscope; and Nanoparticle Deposition System etc.
Amongst the various interesting topics covered, the lecture on AFM and nanoscale electronic devices impressed the UNLV group the most especially because it provided new perspectives about these topics. During the AFM presentation, participants reviewed the conditions and different factors that could affect the accuracy of AFM images and the physics behind it, such as the selection of types of cantilevers; sizes and shapes of sample surface features; and different AFM imaging modes etc. They also learned about common causes of the artifacts in AFM images. The electron microscopy discussion was very interesting. Students partook in an in-depth dialogue that described the working principle of electron microscopes. The UNLV team walked a way with a better understanding of how this technique opened the window to the nano-world.
Soft lithography intrigued all the attendees as it is a new conceptual approach to the fabrication of new types of nano-structures at low cost, was intriguing. The presentation on the principles and applications of self-assembly method also made the UNLV team more aware of the fact this technique is the most powerful bottom-up method developed to further nanotechnology processes.
Laboratory tours were part of the 'boot camp' enabling the participants to have hands-on nanotechnology experience. The group attended the AFM related lab tours where various aspects of this machine were discussed. Besides the AFM, the group also visited the nanofabrication center at University of Minnesota, where they had the opportunity to work with the Electron Beam Lithography and Optical Lithography machines. They even went through the entire optical lithography process, device development, and manufactured patterned wafers. Most importantly, the UNLV team valued the comprehensive exposure to the nanotechnology field that they experienced. They left the camp with a thorough understanding and appreciation of varying perspectives and the fresh innovations occurring in the nanoscale world.
For a link to this article on the official UNLV Engineering website, click here