Electronics from the Bottom Up: A New Approach to Nanoelectronic Devices and Materials


The Network for Computational Nanotechnology seeks to bring a new perspective to engineering education to meet the challenges and opportunities of modern nanotechnology. Fifty years ago our field faced a similar challenge brought on by the advent of the transistor and it was met effectively by the Semiconductor Electronics Education Committee (SEEC), a group of 30 leaders in the field from both industry and academia who produced seven undergraduate textbooks and four films that reshaped the teaching of electronics and trained a generation of engineers ready to lead the modern electronics industry.

Today we face the need for a comparable revolution in education. Ever since the birth of solid state physics, materials have been described in terms of average material parameters like the mobility or the optical absorption coefficient which are then used as inputs to macroscopic device models. This two-step approach is being widely used even for modern nanostructured materials, but we believe that it is no longer adequate to meet the challenges and opportunities of our day. An integrated approach is needed that embeds new ways of thinking, emerging from current research on nanoscience, directly into the models used for non-equilibrium problems like nanoscale transistors, energy conversion devices and bio-sensors. The objective of this initiative is to establish and disseminate the fundamentals of this novel viewpoint through a carefully coordinated collection of seminars, short courses and full-semester courses.

“Electronics from the Bottom-up” is designed to be a resource for educators and self-learners and a model for a new way of teaching electronic devices that we hope will inspire students and prepare them to contribute to the development of nanoelectronic technology in the 21st Century. This project, launched in the fall of 2006, is producing a set of educational resources that are being disseminated at summer schools, lectures, and on nanoHUB.org.

This project is supported by the Intel Foundation and the NSF-funded Network for Computational Nanotechnology

2010 Summer School

July 12-16, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

This year’s summer school will have two components: a focus on nanoelectronic devices, with an introduction to spintronics and, second, tutorials on selected topics in nanotechnology. First, we use our bottom-up approach to provide a clear perspective on quantum conduction, on converting heat to electricity and its relation to the second law of thermodynamics, and on what recent experiments in electron spin say about subtleties of the quantum world and how it can be utilized for information processing. Our selected topics in nanotechnology include far-from-equilibrium quantum charge transport, electrical fluctuations, nanoscale material simulation, and heat transfer.

More information and registration details…

Summer Schools

Short Courses

Full Semester Courses


Related Resources

Those with comments or questions or who are interested in participating in this initiative should contact Mark Lundstrom.

Supported by the Intel Foundation and the NSF-funded Network for Computational Nanotechnology

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