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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Design and fabrication of self-assembled thin films

Paper Abstract

Students experience the entire process of designing, fabricating and testing thin films during their capstone course. The films are fabricated by the ionic-self assembled monolayer (ISAM) technique, which is suited to a short class and is relatively rapid, inexpensive and environmentally friendly. The materials used are polymers, nanoparticles, and small organic molecules that, in various combinations, can create films with nanometer thickness and with specific properties. These films have various potential applications such as pH optical sensors or antibacterial coatings. This type of project offers students an opportunity to go beyond the standard lecture and labs and to experience firsthand the design and fabrication processes. They learn new techniques and procedures, as well as familiarize themselves with new instruments and optical equipment. For example, students learn how to characterize the films by using UV-Vis-NIR spectrophotometry and in the process learn how the instruments operate. This work compliments a previous exercise that we introduced where students use MATHCAD to numerically model the transmission and reflection of light from thin films.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 October 2015
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 9793, Education and Training in Optics and Photonics: ETOP 2015, 979310 (8 October 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2223095
Show Author Affiliations
Daniela M. Topasna, Virginia Military Institute (United States)
Gregory A. Topasna, Virginia Military Institute (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9793:
Education and Training in Optics and Photonics: ETOP 2015

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