American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE)
Proceedings of the 121st ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition
In Spring 2012, a pilot project to increase student exposure to nanotechnology was carried out in the first electronic devices course in the electrical engineering program at our university. Students were given the opportunity to build and test memristors in the nano-electronics research laboratory under the supervision of their instructor. In this pilot project, 10% of the students in the class chose to participate. Based on the success of the first trial, this project will be run again in Fall 2014. The topic of “memristors” was chosen for this project motivated in no small part by the fact that these devices are currently “hot” in the microelectronics/nanoelectronics research community. An additional attribute, deemed essential for this student experience, is the ability to create a macro-scale version of the memristor. The project work included mini-lectures and assigned readings on the history, theory of operation and fabrication, and applications of these devices. The project consisted of two sections: macro-scale and micro-scale memristors. During the macro-scale portion of the project, students practiced the memristor fabrication techniques for several different base metals and sulfiding mediums. Then based on the results (either success or failure) determined by the measured current-voltage characteristics of the memristor, the students made choices on the materials and methods to scale down the macro-scale memristor to the micro/nano-scale memristors using an industry standard fabrication techniques. A graduate student working in the nano-electronics laboratory assisted the students during all experimental work including safety training and help on both fabrication and data acquisition.