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Micro-Nanoscale Device and systems Lab

Learn more about the research and coursework done by faculty and students in micro and nanotechnology-related projects in our MiNDS lab.
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More About the Laboratory

MiNDS courses and related projects are available to all undergraduate technical majors of junior class standing regardless of specific discipline, making the program one of the first efforts to bring the micro technology to a general undergraduate audience.

Since its inception in 2002, the MiNDS program has grown both in size and in scope. Currently multidisciplinary teams of faculty and students are involved in a wide variety of micro and nanoscale technology-related projects and coursework spanning the fields of material science, chemical detection, optics, power generation and bio-micro-electrical-mechanical systems.


The MiNDS program is used for several ongoing research projects within the areas of micro/nanotechnology and pedagogy. Some highlights include:

MEMS Projects

  • Meeting Educational Milestones - Enhancing multidisciplinary undergraduate microelectronic education using a "heads-on" MEMS laboratory experience (NSF grant #0311400)
  • Shape-Memory-Alloy MEMS: Heat engine, energy scavenger and actuation
  • Thin Film Deposition: Improve Reliability of Missile Battery Igniter
  • Microfluidics: Chemistry Lab-on-a-chip
  • Design-Simulation- Characterization
  • MUMPs: Heat actuators and Mirrors

Nanoscale Projects

  • Nanomagnetics: Data Storage
  • Saturable Multiple Quantum Wells: Optical Switching & ADC
  • Carbon Nano-Tubes: Supercapacitor and Energy Storage Application
  • Nano Porous Silica: Water Treatment & Photocatalysis


  • A. Siahmakoun, T. Adams, E. Wheeler, and S. Kirkpatrick, S., "Undergraduate MEMS-Nano Courses for Everyone," Proceedings of MRS 2006 Conference, San Francisco, CA, April 17-21, 2006
  • T. M. Adams, S. R. Kirkpatrick, Z. Wang, and A. Siahmakoun, " NiTi Shape Memory Alloy Thin Films Deposited by Co-Evaporation", Materials Letters, 59 (10), 1161-1164 (2005)
  • Z. Wang, S. R. Kirkpatrick, T. M. Adams, and A. Siahmakoun, " TiNi MEMS Heat Engine", Proceedings of SEM X International Congress & Exposition, Costa Mesa, CA (2004)
  • A. Siahmakoun, S. Kirkpatrick, and T. Adams, "Shaped memory alloy TiNi heat actuator," Nano and Microsystems Technology and Metrology, Redstone Arsenal, AL, Nov. 17-18, 2004
  • T. M. Adams, " An Undergraduate MEMS Course for Everyone" Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition, Salt Lake City, UT. (Recipient of Best Paper Award)

Courses in the MiNDS Lab

EP 180 Engineering at Nanoscale 2R-0L-2C S

Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites for this course. 
Corequisites: There are no corequisites for this course. 

Introduction to nanoscience and engineering: properties and behavior of materials, devices, and systems (natural and artificial) at nanoscale, applications of nanoscience. Characterization techniques: Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), and thin film measurements. Basic cleanroom safety and experience, microfabrication processing techniques: photolithography, thin film deposition. Intro to design and data analysis software.

EP 280 Introduction to Nano-engineering 3.5R-1.5L-4C W
Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites for this course. 
Corequisites: There are no corequisites for this course. 

Scaling laws in small systems; electronics and photonics devices and systems, basics of quantum and statistical mechanics, nanomaterials and fabrication: examples of zero, one, two, and three dimensional nanostructures, carbon nanotubes, Nanoelectronics: basics of solid state physics; electron energy band, semiconductors, tunneling and quantum structures, molecular electronics, Nanophotonics in metals and semiconductors, surface plasmon resonance and applications, photonic bandgap crystals.

EP 380 Nanotechnology, Entrepreneurship & Ethics 3.5R-1.5L-4C S
Prerequisites: EP280 Introduction to Nano-Engineering 
Corequisites: There are no corequisites for this course. 

Scaling laws in small systems; mechanical, biological, fluidics, and thermal systems. Nanomaterials and nanofabrication. Nanomechanics: cantilever oscillation, atomic-force microscopy (AFM) and its applications, nano-biotechnology, machinery of cell, and molecular motors. Nanoscale optics, Nanoscale heat: conduction, convection, and blackbody radiation. Basics of fluidics, nanoscale fluidics and applications, entrepreneurship and ethics, concepts and tools in innovation and social impacts of nanotechnology.

EP 406 Semiconductor Devices & Fabrication 3R-3L-4C W
Prerequisites: PH 405 Semiconductor Materials & Applications or ECE 250 Electronic Device Modeling 
Corequisites: There are no corequisites for this course. 

Physical properties and applications of semiconductor devices including bipolar junction transistors (BJT), metal-semiconductor contacts (Schottky and ohmic), junction field effect transistors (JFET and MESFET), metal-oxidesemiconductor (MOS) interfaces and field effect transistors (MOSFET and CMOS), photoconductors, photodetectors (PIN and APD), solar cells, light emitting diodes (LED), and laser diodes. Laboratory experiments will cover the following topics: characterization of semiconductor devices, op-amps, CMOS, NAND and other logic and analog components. Cross-listed with EP 506.

EP 407 Semiconductor Fabrication & Characterization 2R-6L-4C F
Prerequisites: PH 405 Semiconductor Materials & Applications or Junior or Senior standing & consent of instructor 
Corequisites: There are no corequisites for this course. 

Fabrication and characterization of micro/nanoelectronic devices; Semiconductor devices; Oxidation, ion implantation, etching, deposition, lithography, and back-end processing; Process integration of various technologies, including CMOS, double poly bipolar junction transistor, and GaAs MESFET. Process and device simulators illustrate concepts introduced in class. Modern tools/techniques for both bulk- and thin-film characterization; Laboratory is an integral component of this class. Students work in teams to fabricate a multi-junction semiconductor device, using various techniques which include photolithography, diffusion, oxidation, and etching. In-process measurement results are compared with final electrical test results. Circuits are used to carry out performance evaluation.

EP 410 Introduction to MEMS: Fabrication & Applications 3R-3L-4C S
Prerequisites: Junior or Senior class standing 
Corequisites: There are no corequisites for this course. 

Properties of silicon wafers, wafer-level processes, vacuum systems, thin-film deposition via PVD, dry and wet etching, photolithography, surface and bulk micromachining, process integration, MEMS applications: heat actuators, capacitive accelerometer, DLP, bio-sensor, and pressure sensor. Cross-listed with ME 416, ECE 416, and CHE405.

EP 411 Advanced topics in MEMS 3R-3L-4C F
Prerequisites: EP 410 Introduction to MEMS: Fabrication & Applications or equivalent course 
Corequisites: There are no corequisites for this course. 

Topics such as: Microlithography, design process, modeling; analytical and numerical. Use of software for layout design and device simulation. Characterization and reliability of MEMS devices. MEMS and microelectronic packaging. Introduction to microfluidic systems. Applications in engineering, biomedicine, and chemistry. Cross-listed with ECE 419, and CHE 419.

Dr. Scott Kirkpatrick

Dr. Scott Kirkpatrick

Director of Micro-Nanoscale Devices and Systems (MiNDS) Facilities and Associate Professor of Physics & Optical Engineering

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Contact Us

MiNDS Laboratory
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
5500 Wabash Avenue
Terre Haute, IN 47803

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