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Taking atomic force microscope advances to the university classroom

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7 Author(s)

Because of the current and future importance of the Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) in education and research, our team has been working on transferring this technology to the college classroom. In this paper we present the initial findings of a case study in which two years of cutting-edge AFM research was transferred to the college classroom in the form of a one-semester course. The course was developed before the research was completed and published in final form. While, the course centered on the re-creation and explanation of the most recent advances in building high-throughput AFMs, it also implemented and assessed the use of two online AFMs. Student response to the initial course offering, its content, and the tools used, was very positive. The students rated the course above the department average on 14 of the 15 survey metrics and claimed that the teaching method would help them remember more than other classes (average 8 on a ten-point scale. N=24). As a result of the course, several students have shown interest in pursuing work and research in this field. These results indicate that the course has successfully broadened the horizons of undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Nevada Reno, which had no microtechnology or AFM course offering prior to this work. It has also demonstrated the potential of using the AFM as the center focus of a MEMS/Nano-technology course. Finally, this case study may serve as a model for future technology transfer to the classroom by Ph.D. candidates who have not fully completed their technical research

Published in:

Aerospace Conference, 2001, IEEE Proceedings.  (Volume:7 )

Date of Conference:

2001