Departmental Papers (MEAM)

Document Type

Conference Paper

Date of this Version

January 2003


Copyright 2003. American Society for Engineering Education. Reprinted from Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Meeting, 1168 (2019), 2003, 10 pages.

NOTE: At the time of publication, author Robert W. Carpick was affiliated with the University of Wisconsin. Currently July 2007, he is a faculty member in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics at the University of Pennsylvania.


At small scales, mechanics enters a new regime where the role of surfaces, interfaces, defects, material property variations, and quantum effects play more dominant roles. A new course in nanoscale mechanics for engineering students was recently taught at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. This course provided an introduction to nanoscale engineering with a direct focus on the critical role that mechanics needs to play in this developing area. The limits of continuum mechanics were presented as well as newly developed mechanics theories and experiments tailored to study and describe micro- and nano-scale phenomena. Numerous demonstrations and experiments were used throughout the course, including synthesis and fabrication techniques for creating nanostructured materials, bubble raft models to demonstrate size scale effects in thin film structures, and a laboratory project to construct a nanofilter device. A primary focus of this paper is the laboratory content of this course, which includes an integrated series of laboratory modules utilizing atomic force microscopy, self-assembled monolayer deposition, and microfluidic technology.



Date Posted: 11 July 2007

This document has been peer reviewed.