Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 1 session / week, 1 hour / session

Labs: 1 session / week, 3 hours / session


2.001 Mechanics & Materials I; 3.091SC Introduction to Solid State Chemistry or 5.111 Principles of Chemical Science or permission of the instructor.


2.005 Thermal-Fluids Engineering I

Course Highlights

This is a laboratory intensive course designed for undergraduates who want to study emerging topics in micro / nano technology. This course will encourage design thinking via lab modules of building, observing and manipulating micro- and nano-scale objects and structures. Students will learn about underlying science and engineering principles and possible applications through hands-on lab modules. Throughout the semester, students will go through 11 lab modules in three streams of micro / nano engineering (MEMS, microfluidics, and nanomaterials). This is a 6-unit subject with one lecture (1 hour) and one lab session (3 hours) per week.


One-hour lecture per week provides background material pertinent to the accompanying lab modules. Combining alternating lecture and laboratory segments, students will have the opportunity to continually take concepts introduced in lecture to the laboratory bench top.

Lab Modules

There are eleven labs roughly falling into five categories.

  1. Fun with molding (Labs 1 and 2)
  2. Microfluidic hydrodynamics (Labs 3, 4 and 5)
  3. Self-assembly and surface Engineering (Lab 6)
  4. Growing, building and observing micro and nanostructures (Labs 7, 8 and 9)
  5. Scanning nanosurfaces with AFM cantilevers (Labs 10 and 11)

The lab modules will have students touch, see, build micro-and nano-scale objects and think about their design implications and the underlying science through lab sessions. For each lab module, a comprehensive reader containing background material, laboratory protocols and lab write-up questions will be distributed in lecture. Suggested background reading material is very useful for the completion of the lab write-up material.

Lab Reports

Each lab module requires a lab report, in which the students complete the lab write-up questions within the module reader, due at the beginning of the laboratory session for the subsequent lab module. Late submission of reports / assignments will lead to a 10% decrease in points per day.

In the Laboratory

Students are highly encouraged to maintain a separate lab notebook for recording any observations, results, or comments while performing the experiments. You will also find it helpful to carry a USB drive to download data, or a camera to record images. To ensure that there are no injuries or accidents, lab safety training is mandatory. Lab attire includes close-toed shoes; no shorts or loose clothing / hair. Follow common sense in the lab-running around, jumping, etc. can be potentially dangerous!

Grading Policy

Class participation in highly encouraged, and will be reflected in your final grade.

Communication with the instructors and staff helps us get to know you, and is a valuable skill for working through problems and maximizing your laboratory experience.

11 lab reports 20 points each, 220 points total
Class / Lab participation 30 points
Quiz (a short one at the end of the semester) 50 points
Total 300 points