Active/Collaborative Learning Student Teams Integrating Technology Effectively Women and Minorities Assessment and Evaluation EC2000 Emerging Technology Foundation Coalition Curricula Concept Inventories
Nanotechnology Issues in Manufacturing: Materials and Manufacturing

Junior Course: MEEN 360 Materials and Manufacturing

MEEN 360 Materials and Manufacturing Selection in Design is a required course for mechanical engineering majors. It is taught both semesters, offered to about 200 students each year, and includes a laboratory component. Like ENGR 213 the project introduced two one-hour modules on nanoscale manufacturing: one on micro and nanoscale lithography and another on nanoparticle processes for bulk materials. In addition, the project introduced one laboratory experiment that would be performed by all students.

The two modules in MEEN 360 have three goals:

  • Introduce nanoscale manufacturing as an emerging field that might affect your career
  • Visualize nanoscale issues in manufacturing
  • Provide background information for the new senior elective course MEMA 489 Nanoscale Issues in Manufacturing to be offered in the spring semester of the 2003-04 academic year.

Module: Micro and Nanoscale Lithography

The module on micro and nanoscale lithography begins by providing background information on development of lithographic processes. The history highlights the work on Alois Senefelder who in 1789 decided that that his plays were losing money because it costs too much to print them. In response, he wanted to devise a way to print them at home for just pennies a page! He tried carving mirror images into soft copper sheet with a steel tool and failed. So he practiced writing in reverse on limestone. He used limestone as a substrate (stone-lithos), used waxy ink as a mask/resist, etched the mask with acid, coat the upper (planarized) surface with ink, and carefully(!) placed paper on the inked plane. With an understanding of the historical development of lithography, the module introduced modern lithographic processes.

The module describes the components of a modern lithographer's toolkit:

  • Oxidation
  • Masking
  • Implantation
  • Etching
  • Metallization
  • Lift-Off

Nanoscale Issues in Manufacturing Module: Nanolithography Component (pdf)

Module: Nanoparticles in Bulk Materials

The module on nanoparticles in bulk materials begins by motivating consideration of nanoparticles. It illustrates tensile strength of bulk, fiber and whisker SiC and the intriguing possibilities for very high tensile strength for nanoparticles:

  • Bulk 250 MPa
  • Fiber 3400 MPa
  • Whisker 14,000 MPa
  • Nanoparticle ???

Next, the module illustrates current applications of nanoparticles in bulk materials.

  • The film industry has used nanoparticles of silver halide in film since 1930.
  • Inkjet printers produce nanoparticle ink (1 drop is about 1 picoliter or a radius of about 6 microns assuming a spherical drop).
  • Nanoparticle layers are used to make stable photo quality inkjet paper.
  • Nanoparticles are used as catalysis in chemistry and as a fuel in space applications because of their large surface energies.

Then, the two major approaches to nanoparticle production are overviewed.

  • In the top-down approach, the starting point is bulk materials either naturally occurring (minerals, clay) or synthesized by current processes (metals, ceramics). Then, the particles in the bulk material are reduced to the nanoscale.
  • In the bottom-up approach, chemistry is used to synthesize nanoparticles.

Nanoscale Issues in Manufacturing Module: Nanoparticles Component (pdf)


This project was supported by the Division of Engineering Education and Centers of the National Science Foundation under grant number EEC-0304049. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


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