EEE 6408 Nano Systems (October 2019)


Welcome to the course on EEE 6408 Nano Systems


As a PhD student, I had the privilege to work in the Birck Nanotechnology Center, that housed the largest academic cleanroom in the world at its inception. I had the opportunity to gain hands on experience in nanofabrication and characterization, and would be happy to share my knowledge and experience amongst young researchers and scholars. At the same time, the field of Nano Systems is rapidly developing, and the students of the course need to stay uptodate with the current trends and the state of the art.

Learning Objectives

In this course we would learn about different aspects of Nano Systems. The thrust of the course focus would be in two directions. In first thrust, we will learn about Nano fabrication techniques (lithography, ion milling, etching, vaccum deposition etc), nano measurements and characterization techniques (SEM, XRD, TEM, Optical characterization). Second thrust, we will explore recent advances of Nano Systems such as nano biosensors, nanophotonic systems, nano electro-mechanical systems (NEMS) etc. The course would focus more on developing review of scholarly articles and scientific communication of such articles.

Grading criteria

  • Midterm Presentation - 30% (15 minutes presentation and Q A by the students on a relevant paper.)
  • Final Report - 40% (For final report, you must do a comprehensive literature review on a particular topic relevant to the course and write a 1600 word review on it, with around 20-30 literature references. The goal is to combine multiple reports and to form a scientific review article on a particular focus (will discuss more on class))
  • Final Presentation - 10% (15 minutes power point presentation highlighting your final report)
  • Final Examination - 20% (Primarily focus on very basic concepts of the course and class discussions)


It would be expected that by the end of the course, you are able to do a comprehensive review on a particular topic of interest and are able to communicate it orally. Regular participation in class discussion is strongly encouraged. Although, preparing the class presentations and report would demand time and effort, hopefully, by successful completion of the work, you would have a publishable work, and we can discuss at the end of the semester if we can compile and publish the work.

It is expected that students sign an honour pledge for the class and refrain from plagiarising. All reports would be checked with turnitin plagiarism checker and any plagiarized work would be dealt with a "F" grade in the entire course.


  • No class on 17th March 2020


  • Lectures: Tuesday 5:00-7:30pm ECE 632
  • Office Hour: Tuesday 2:00-5:00pm ECE 222
  • Midterm presentation - 7/4/2020 Marks will be uploaded here
  • Final presentation - 2/6/2020, 9/6/2020
  • Final report due - 2/6/2020

Course Outline

(depending on the interest of the class the outline will be modified during the semester. Students are encouraged to suggest topics of interest during the semester.)

  • Nanosystems and Devices: Introduction- nanomaterials, nanodevices, nanostructures.
  • Nanoscale Lithography: X-ray, Electron-Beam and Ion-Beam; Soft Lithography; Scanning Probe Lithography.
  • Advances in Device Technology: nanoscale silicon devices, process technology, present challenges.
  • Self-Assembled Nanocrystals: self-assembly, surface defects and passivation, structures, energy levels, transitions, luminescence and lasing.
  • Nano Electro Mechanical Systems (NEMS): stress in thin films, mechanical to electrical transduction, surface engineering techniques, process flow, NEMS actuators, high aspect ratio system technology.
  • Nano Biotechnology: scope and dimensions; detection of biological species on electrical, mechanical and optical criteria; Bio functionality on silicon; Biochip sensors and systems- structures, process technology.
  • Nanophotonic systems
  • Miscelleneous topics of interest

Tentative topics on Final Presentation

  • Nanophotonic systems
  • Nanobiotechnology
  • NEMS
  • Nano energy harvesting
  • Metasurface
  • Biomimicry in nanotechnology
  • Emerging nano manufacturing technology
  • Self assembled nano-crystals
  • Fabrication of Neuromorphic Computers
Scope of write up (including but not limited to):
  1. Broad introduction of the field
  2. Present Challenges
  3. Fabrication methods
  4. Breakthrough publiactions
  5. Significant applications

You need to form groups of 3 students. Each group will work on a particular scope. I will circulate a google form where you can give choice regarding the topics. Each group's broad topic should be unique.

Once you choose broad the topic, you need to do choose a special topic from it (as for example, from Nanophotonic systems a special topic can be imaging with metasurface). Your subtopic should be unique in a sense that there is no other review paper on the particular subtopic. Prepare a short outline of the paper (Introduction, Conclusion, which topics you will be covering etc) do a literature search on the topic and create an outline of your paper. Deadline to submit the outline is 2 weeks.

After I okay the outline, you need to do further literature search and form your review on the topic. You are expected to write a publishable review on the topic. Here are some resources that might help you in the process: Ten Simple Rules for Writing a Literature Review Writing a review articleHow To Write A Scientific Review Research Paper

To improve writing skill, I highly recommend the Kristin Sainani's course from Stanford University, Writing in the Science. Complete week 1-5 of the course to improve your writing style.

Originality of work: The paper that you write must be an original work of your own writing. The goal of the assignment is for you to learn writing a review. The papers will be checked with plagiarism checking software. Any similarity with already published work will result in a failure (F) in the assignment. Read this article on avoiding plagiarism

If you choose to do so, I am willing to work on the final paper further with the possibility of publishing it in a peer-reviewed journal.

Lecture Plan (will update as the semester progresses)

  • Lecture 1 - 25/2/2020 - Introduction to Nanotechnology and Nano Systems