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Initial Assessment of Small Systems (MEMS and NEMS) Course Taught in an Undergraduate and Graduate Classroom

[+] Author Affiliations
Jason W. Paquette, K. J. Kim

University of Nevada, Reno, NV

Paper No. IMECE2002-39468, pp. 739-744; 6 pages
  • ASME 2002 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Design Engineering
  • New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, November 17–22, 2002
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3628-2 | eISBN: 0-7918-1691-5, 0-7918-1692-3, 0-7918-1693-1
  • Copyright © 2002 by ASME


Micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) and nanotechnology are a fast developing technology which combines very small mechanical structures with microelectronics circuits. These devices range in scale from nanometers (10−9 m) to several millimeters, and they are fabricated using the established techniques of microelectronics construction. Due to the increasingly large size and opportunities in these fields, it is becoming necessary to offer course work with small systems for students at the undergraduate and graduate level. A course in MEMS/NEMS small systems was taught at the University of Nevada, Reno in the spring of 2002. The course used the text written by Hsu [1] along with supplementary material. Problems and examples of applying fundamental principles from mechanics, electromagnetism, thermodynamics and optics among others to problems in MEMS design, fabrication and actuation were considered. The course is primarily designed to introduce both engineering undergraduate and graduate students to the possibilities of this exciting new engineering field. Also, current MEMS, NEMS, and microfluidic applications, such as sensors, actuators, heat exchangers, and chemical/biological analysis systems, were discussed. The course introduced a broad spectrum of topics related to small system development including basic engineering science for small system design, engineering mechanics, thermofluid engineering, scaling laws, materials for small systems, fabrication technologies, small system design, advanced nano-materials (molecular motors, nanotubes, polymer nanocomposites), standard characterization techniques: SEM, TEM, AFM, and applications (MEMS, NEMS and microfluidics).

Copyright © 2002 by ASME



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