Using Nanoscience Instrumentation for Quality Undergraduate Education (unique)

in Nanotechnology Undergraduate Education (NUE)




NSF 0634088

























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– a one week hands-on SPM Workshop



Lab Workbooks

          2007 & 2008                 2009

entire books downloadable as PDF

(click on year)


o     Introduction to Scanning Force Microscopy

o     Scanning Force Microscopy and Dip-Pen Nanolithography

o     AC-Mode imaging and Electrostatic Force Microscopy

o     Binding  Kinetics of Proteins

o     Force Spectroscopy Analysis

o     Force Modulation Microscopy

o     Lateral Force Microscopy

o    Scanning Tunneling Microscopy

Students will gain hands-on experience involving a wide variety of nanotechnology/nanoscience applications, using some of the most versatile nano-tools based on Scanning Probe Microscopy (SPM). With an intensive one-week schedule and a low student to instrument and student to TA ratio of 4:1, deep and lasting learning will occur. The intense 40 hours one-week workshop will provide students with the opportunity to apply their theoretical knowledge from prior lecture courses.

List of Institutions and Disciplines of Past NUE UNIQUE Participants.




Do you want to take part on the next workshop?


Click here and apply!












To be eligible for the program you must be:


1.       UG student in the second year enrolled at a 4 year higher educational institution or senior student in a 2 year higher educational institution (e.g., Community College). Since 2009 we also accept a small number of gifted graduate students in the first year of their graduate program.

2.       Majoring in engineering, materials science, chemistry, or physics,

3.       Available to participate throughout the entire SPM Workshop. There is no room for other classes during that week.

Successful applicants are responsible for travel and adequate insurance.


This workshop has been offered for free to all participants thanks to our sponsors, the National Science Foundation, GEMSEC and Nanosurf GmbH.



R.M. Overney




M. Sarikaya





Prof. René M Overney (Chem. Eng.) is known for his pioneering work in nanorheology and transport properties. His group has developed various SPM nano-characterization methods particularly applicable to polymer science and related technologies. The research of his group ranges from mesoscale material aspects in photonics, optoelectronics, electronic storage media, PEM fuel cell, tribology to human implant technology. Overney coauthored of one of the early textbooks in Nanoscience (Nanoscience, World Scientific 1998), and is teaching on the undergraduate and graduate level nanoscience related courses since 1996.


Prof. Mehmet Sarikaya (Mat. Sci.) is known for his pioneering efforts and ideas in Molecular Biomimetics. By merging recent advances in molecular biology and genetics with state-of-the-art engineering and nanocharacterization from the physical sciences, his and his collaborators’ goal is to shift the biomimetic materials science paradigm from imitating Nature to designing materials to perform artificial nanofunctions. It is the intent to combine Nature’s proven molecular tools, such as proteins, with synthetic nanoscale constructs to make molecular biomimetics a full-fledged methodology. To this end, at the Genetically Engineered Materials Science and Engineering Center, an NSF-MRSEC, Sarikaya is directing a multidisciplinary team with diverse expertise to genetically select inorganic-binding short polypeptides, tailoring them via molecular manipulation and bioinformatics to make heterofunctional molecular constructs and using them as synthesizers, assemblers, and molecular erectors in materials science and medicine.


Synopses of

Lab Units:














Introduction to Scanning Force Microscopy

The student will become familiar with contact mode Scanning Force Microscopy (SFM) as an imaging technique and as ultra-sensitive force sensor.

Scanning Force Microscopy and Dip-Pen Nanolithography

The student will become familiar with contact mode Scanning Force Microscopy (SFM) as an imaging technique, and be introduced with Dip-Pen Nanolithography (DPN).

AC-Mode imaging and Electrostatic Force Microscopy

This lab unit introduces Electrostatic Force Microscopy to characterize the electrical properties of a blended conjugated polymer film by studying the changes in tip oscillation due to electrostatic force gradients between the tip and the sample.

Binding  Kinetics of Proteins

In his lab unit students are characterizing protein-material using intermittent non-contact (NC) scanning force microscopy (SFM) in both fluid medium and in air to quantify surface adsorption. The material analyzed are graphite adsorbed  blood clotting proteins, fibrinogen (Fb), to mimic a bio-response to prosthetic heart valve devices.

Force Spectroscopy Analysis

This lab unit introduces a scanning force microscopy (SFM) based force displacement (FD) technique, FD analysis, to study local adhesion, elastic properties, and force interactions between materials.

Force Modulation Microscopy

This lab unit introduces a scanning force microscopy (SFM) based mechanical (sinusoidal) perturbation method referred to as force modulation microscopy, to explore thermomechanical properties in polymers around the glass transition.

Scanning Tunneling Microscopy

This lab unit introduces scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) technique, used to obtain real space atomic resolution images of conductive surfaces. The tunneling spectroscopy mode of STM is employed to examine local density of state (LDOS) of the surface.




Five laboratory units (including the Introduction to Scanning Force Microscopy) will be tackled through the yearly Summer Workshop. The laboratory units are mostly from this list. Typically one new laboratory unit can be expected every year.