Nanocharacterization PNPA Model
P-N-P-A Rubric

Foothill College is offering a course in materials characterization for students and working professionals who want an introduction to the subject.

This course, nanomaterials characterization techniques, will be offered in a hybrid format in all Fall Quarter 2013. All attending students will be offered a hands-on experience using an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) and Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). In addition, students will tour the Materials Analysis and Characterization (MAC) Lab at NASA-Ames Advanced Studies Lab (ASL), and Nanolab Technologies.

This course will provide an introduction to nanomaterials characterization tools, techniques, and best practice for a variety of industries, devices, and materials. Using scenario based curriculum and a focus on biomedical, thin film, and clean energy materials, this course will prepare students to use a variety of characterization tools in the context of typical work performed in Silcon Valley.

This twelve week course begins with an overview of the role of materials characterization in support of nanomaterials engineering, the types of instruments, and typical charcaterization and failure analysis problems addressed in nanotechology and high performance materials development. For the key industries there will be typical problems, techniques, and data analysis. Additionally, for each of the key nanostructures there are approaches to characterization that support both fabrication and processing as well as failure analysis. These approaches are discussed for each nanomaterial in the context of the PNPA rubric to help reinforce the them of fabrication and process development, structure-property relationships, and developing sound QA/QC methodology for nanomaterials engineering programs.

We begin our journey into characterization with the history of characterization tools, and will provide an overview table of the various techniques, what they do, how they are used, and where to find these tools in industry and academia. We'll use Wikipedia and Wikibooks (nanotechnology) to help you get a grasp of these tools quickly, efficiently, and using open educational resources.

Carbon Nanotube
Robert Cormia running the Thermo K-Alpha at Nanolab Technologies

Please contact Robert Cormia if you have any questions, and please follow the assignments page.