The Science, Engineering and Social Impact of Nanotechnology
ENGR 221 – 3 credits - Winter 2007
Instructor: Dr. Alex Yokochi 207 Gleeson
Danielle Amatore 106 Gleeson
Class Times: Lecture: 2, 1 hour classes M&F 1200-1300, Milam 206
Recitation: 1, 2 hour recitation W 1100-1300, Milam 019
Prerequisites: 1 year of college science
Office Hours: Fridays 1300-1400, Gleeson 207 or by appointment
Class communications will occur primarily by email using your ENGR account (You can
“forward” ENGR to any other account). Check your email daily.
Nanotechnology is an emerging engineering field that manipulates atoms and molecules
to fabricate new materials and tiny devices. Properties of nanostructured materials,
manufacturing methods, characterization methods, and impact on health and safety.
Benefits and concerns about nanotechnology will be assessed.
Student Learning Outcomes:
By the end of the course, you will be able to:
1. Define nanotechnology.
2. Predict how nanotechnology might impact society.
3. Identify products based on nanostructured materials.
4. Explain how the properties of nanostructured materials are different from their non-
nanostructured bulk material counterparts.
5. Explain how these unique properties might impact human health and the environment.
6. Identify the major areas of nanotoxicity research and summarize the status of each area.
7. Describe major manufacturing methods used to produce nanostructured materials.
8. Explain the difference in approach of top-down vs. bottom-up manufacturing methods.
9. Identify the common methods used for nanomaterial characterization. Describe the
principles by which each method works and the type of information obtained.
10. Synthesize concepts learned in previous science and engineering courses by applying
them to the field of nanotechnology.
11. Compare the two prevalent ethical theories, utilitarianism and absolutism.
12. Critique the way in which asbestos was used and manufactured in our society.
13. Perform a risk assessment to determine the best direction for nanotechnology
Definition of nanotechnology; the scale of things natural and man-made; some
nanotechnology applications/products; possible future applications of
nanotechnology; the impact that nanotechnology will have on society
2. Characterization Methods
Micro-imaging methods (AFM, STM, SEM, TEM); Composition and phase
characterization (XRF, EDX, XRD, TEM/ED)
3. Unique Properties of Nanostructured Materials
Blend of quantum mechanics and classic physics; the electronic structure of
nanoparticles vs bulk material; the surface area of nanoparticles vs micron-sized
4. Manufacturing Methods for Nanomaterials
Top-Down Processing Methods (Lithography, Micromachining, Beam machining
and laser machining); Bottom-Up Processing Methods (Self assembly and other
Selective additive processes)
5. Review of ethics
Utilitarianism and absolutism; Value inventory; Ethics assessment; Risk
assessment; Case study: Asbestos
Review potential health and safety concerns
7. Final Project Presentations: Risk Assessment of Nanotechnology
No textbook. A set of class readings culled from the technical literature will be supplied
by the instructors.
The grades will be based upon examination of course work. An approximate breakdown is
Final Project: 25%
Class Attendance and Participation (15%):
Attendance is MANDATORY! You are expected to attend every class and participate in
discussion. There will be daily Concept Tests that you will complete online via your
wireless laptop. Completion of all Concept Tests will result in full Class Attendance
credit (even if you do not answer the Concept Test exactly correct). If you are not able to
make class, notify the instructor before class. Unexcused absences may lower your final
course grade. If you do miss class, it is your responsibility to find out what was covered
and any administrative information that was discussed.
Homework will provide opportunities to apply fundamental engineering and science
concepts to the field of nanotechnology. Homework should be done in several sittings;
you cannot expect to be successful doing homework quickly the night before it is due.
Any late homework will receive a grade of 0 unless arrangements are made with the
instructor before it is due. Failure to turn in more than 2 homework assignments will
result in a grade of F in the class.
You may discuss homework problems with your classmates (NOT COPY THEIR
SOLUTIONS), but please try them on your own first. Additionally solutions must be
written up independently. Unless otherwise stated by the instructor, you are not allowed to
look at to previously worked solutions of the assigned problems (e.g., from previous years,
the Web, etc.), before the homework due date - even to check your work. Using worked
solutions will be considered as a case of academic dishonesty.
Use the following guidelines for homework preparation:
Use clean, 8.5 x 11 inch paper. Engineering paper is preferred; neatness is
important and appreciated.
Write the following in the upper right corner of each page:
Due date, Problem Set No.
Page number/Total pages
Securely staple all pages; do not fold or paper clip together.
Show all of your work. Draw a block around your final answer(s).
For graphical solutions, use graph paper or computer generated plots. Label the
axes of your graph and include units.
Provide computer program listings or output, if used, on a separate sheet.
Midterm Exam (20%):
There will be one midterm exam. The midterm will cover include the definition of
nanotechnology, unique properties of nanomaterials, nanotechnology applications and
products, nanotechnology manufacturing methods.
Final Project (25%):
The final project will be assigned during week 7 of the term. Each student will work
independently to conduct a risk assessment of nanotechnology development. The
deliverables for this project will be a written report and an oral presentation; both are due
during dead week.
Final Exam (20%):
The final exam is not cumulative and will only include topics discussed after the midterm
exam (ethics, nanotoxicity, risk assessment). If the entire class agrees to it, we can omit
the time limitation and let you stay until you are finished.
If you MUST miss a midterm or the Final Exam for an emergency situation, please let me
know as soon as possible. If you oversleep or skip an exam you will not have an
opportunity to make it up. If you have a valid (according to me) time conflict and you let
me know in advance, there is the possibility of taking an exam at an alternate time.
While the University is a place where the free exchange of ideas and concepts allows for
debate and disagreement, all classroom behavior and discourse should reflect the values
of respect and civility. Behaviors which are disruptive to the learning environment will
not be tolerated. As your instructors, we are dedicated to establishing a learning
environment that promotes diversity of race, culture, gender, sexual orientation, and
physical disability. Anyone noticing discriminatory behavior in this class, or feeling
discriminated against should bring it to the attention of the instructors or other University
personnel as appropriate.
Specific examples of innapropriate behavior include:
The use of cell phones or pagers in class
The use of Laptops or other electronic devices for activity outside of assigned use
in THIS class (i.e, surf the web, email, pictures)
Reading the Barometer during class
Eating during class
Cheating and Student Conduct:
The instructors of this class take the issue of academic honesty very seriously. You are
expected to be honest and ethical in your academic work. There is a “zero tolerance”
policy in effect for cheating in this class. Any instance in which a student is caught
cheating will be handled in strict accordance with the policies outlined at
http://www.orst.edu/admin/stucon/achon.htm. In order to provide students with a positive
learning environment, OSU has adopted a pledge of civility, which can be found at
Academic dishonesty is defined as an intentional act of deception in one of the following
Cheating- use or attempted use of unauthorized materials, information or study aids
Fabrication- falsification or invention of any information
Assisting- helping another commit an act of academic dishonesty
Tampering- altering or interfering with evaluation instruments and documents
Plagiarism- representing the words or ideas of another person as one's own
When evidence of academic dishonesty comes to the instructor's attention, the instructor
will document the incident, permit the accused student to provide an explanation, advise
the student of possible penalties, and take action. The instructor may impose any
academic penalty up to and including an "F" grade in the course after consulting with his
or her department chair and informing the student of the action taken.
"Accommodations are collaborative efforts between students, faculty and
Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD). Students with accommodations
approved through SSD are responsible for contacting the faculty member in
charge of the course prior to or during the first week of the term to discuss
accommodations. Students who believe they are eligible for accommodations but
who have not yet obtained approval through SSD should contact SSD immediately