Skip to Main Content
The University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada, is home to North America's first undergraduate program in nanotechnology. As part of the Nanotechnology Engineering degree program, a scanning probe microscopy (SPM)-based laboratory has been developed for students in their fourth year. The one-term laboratory course “Nanoprobing and Lithography” is accompanied by a preceding one-term lecture course, “Nanoprobing and Lithography.” The lecture course lays the theoretical foundation for the concepts covered in the laboratory course. The students work in groups of two and obtain hands-on experience in biweekly 3-h laboratory sessions. The labs use a dedicated undergraduate SPM teaching facility consisting of five atomic force microscope stations. The laboratory course covers all common standard modes of operation, as well as force spectroscopy, electrostatic force microscopy, magnetic force microscopy, and scanning probe lithography by electrochemical oxidation and scratching/ploughing of resist. In light of the breadth of the nanotechnology engineering educational program in terms of synthesis and characterization of nanomaterials, the authors designed a dedicated SPM lab with a capacity of up to 130 students per term.