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ME 555 Introduction to Micro- and Nanotechnology

Catalog Description

ME 555 Introduction to Micro and Nanotechnology (3). Prerequisites: CHE 253 or equivalent and senior or graduate standing in an engineering program. Design, fabrication and application of micro- and nano-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS/NEMS). Scaling laws governing micro- and nanoscale physics. Use of MEMS/NEMS devices in electronics, as sensors, and for medical applications.

Prerequisites by Topic

  1. Material science
  2. Senior or graduate standing in an engineering program


M. Madou, Fundamentals of Microfabrication: Science of Miniaturization, 2nd edition, CRC Press, 2002.


B. Panchapakesan, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering.

Course Learning Outcomes

The course is designed to provide senior undergraduate and graduate engineering students with an introduction to the science and technology of micro- and nanosystems. Upon completing the course, students will have a broad understanding of the current state of the art in MEMS/NEMS technologies, possess the ability to assess the suitability of these devices for a given application, and be capable of designing a simple MEMS device and fabrication process.

Topics Covered

  1. Lithography (1 class)
  2. Pattern transfer with dry etching techniques (2 classes)
  3. Pattern transfer with additive techniques (2 classes)
  4. Wet bulk micromachining (2 classes)
  5. Surface micromachining. (2 classes)
  6. LIGA (German acronym for "Lithographie, Galvanoformung, Abformung," e.g., lithography, electroplating, molding) and comparison of micromachining techniques (2 classes)
  7. Micromachine development and packaging (4 classes)
  8. Scaling laws, actuators, and power in miniaturization (4 classes)
  9. Microfabrication applications (5 classes)
  10. Science of nanotechnology (3 classes)
  11. Atoms, molecules and supramolecular structures (2 classes)
  12. Nanomaterials (2 classes)
  13. Nanofabrication (4 classes)
  14. Applications of nanotechnology (3 classes)
  15. Design projects (2 classes)
  16. Examinations (2 classes)

Computer Use

L-edit software for design of micro-systems and mask generation.

Class/Laboratory Schedule

Three 50 minute sessions per week devoted to lecture, discussion, demonstrations, and design/analysis problem solving.


Design projects (2) - 20% each, homework assignments - 10%, midterm exam - 25%, final exam - 25%. Compared to undergraduates, graduate students are required to prepare more extensive project reports that use a format consistent with a technical journal submission, include external references, and are significantly longer.

Curriculum Criterion Contribution

Engineering design: 2 credits, engineering science, 1 credit.

Relationship to Program Outcomes

This course supports Mechanical Engineering academic program objectives by developing:

  • An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering in the field of mechanical engineering.
  • An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs in the field of mechanical engineering.
  • An ability to identify, formulate and solve problems in the field of mechanical engineering.
  • An ability to communicate effectively.
  • A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in, life-long learning in the field of mechanical engineering.
  • An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern tools necessary for the practice of mechanical engineering.

Prepared by B. Panchapakesan, April 2009

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