Introductory Seminars for First-Year Students

Engineering the Micro and Nano Worlds: From Chips to Genes

EE 17N
Please note: All admitted students will be expected to attend the seminar on Mondays from 10am-11am plus one, 2-3 person lab each week (14 lab times to pick from). Details in the right sidebar of this seminar page.
High school physics (preferably AP), including knowledge of the length scales (meter, millimeter, micrometer, nanometer).

The first part of the course will consist of a hands-on introduction to the techniques of micro and nanofabrication using Stanford’s shared nanotechnology research facilities, SNF and SNSF, complemented with field trips to local companies and other research centers to illustrate the many applications of nanotechnology, such as DNA microarrays, microfluidic bio-sensors, and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). The second part involves students proposing, planning, and executing a project “to build something at the nanoscale.” Really, that is the criteria, “build something at the nanoscale.” The professors will of course enthusiastically aid in refining your projects and helping you realize them, but the initial spark will be from your creativity. With access to 10s of millions of dollars of nanotech equipment available to aid in realizing your vision, we hope you accept this challenge with gusto. Examples of recent projects include biosensors using aptamer probes, fabricating nanowire springs, and ultrasensitive strain sensors using diffraction gratings.

In academic year 2020-2021, this IntroSem (EE 17N) will be offered in person only. Students must be on campus and attend course meetings in person. This is due to the 100% hands-on nature of the course with every course meeting involving laboratory work. Further, the open-ended nature of the student proposed projects which benefit from the wide variety of laboratory facilities on campus and in the area. The course would have to morph to something thoroughly different to be done remotely. The pandemic situation and appropriate responses to it have been changing rapidly over the last several months. These changes will likely continue, but we look forward to providing a safe environment with all appropriate protocols for this course in Summer Quarter 2021.

Meet the Instructor(s)

Roger Howe

"I am the W. E. Ayer Professor of Engineering. I have led research on nano- and micro-electromechanical systems for applications ranging from biomolecular sensing to energy conversion. I have developed techniques for fabricating nanostructures based on printing and self-assembly."

John (J) Provine

John (J) Provine

"I am an Adjunct Professor in Electrical Engineering and the co-founder/CEO of Aligned Carbon. I received my Ph.D. from Cornell in electrical engineering, and prior to that my B.A. (Physics) and B.S./M.S. (Electrical Engineering) from Rice University. I spent over a decade at Stanford as a senior scientist with research focused on the physics at play in the first few nanometers of materials. This meant I could work on a wide range of applications from optical biosensors to next generation nanoelectronics to clean energy conversion and storage. I recently started a company focused on bringing carbon nanotubes to market for wide scale use in nanoelectronics, a breakthrough that will enable computer chips which are 1000x more powerful than today's state of the art."