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Electronics from the Bottom Up: an educational initiative on 21st century electronics

By Mark Lundstrom1, Supriyo Datta1, Muhammad A. Alam1

1. Purdue University

Published on


In the 1960’s, a group of leaders from industry and academia, recognized that the age of vacuum tubes was ending and that engineers would have to be educated differently if they were to realize the opportunities that the new field of microelectronics presented. The Semiconductor Electronics Education Committee eventually produced seven undergraduate textbooks and four films and reshaped the teaching of electronics. Today, MOSFET channel lengths have shrunk by a factor of 100 and microelectronics has become nanoelectronics, but we still teach students very much as they were taught 30 years ago. Research on molecular-scale electronics is giving us a new understanding of nanoscale devices, but this new knowledge is largely absent from the semiconductor engineering curriculum. A plethora of new electronic device technologies are being explored, and, in many cases, they are not well-described by the conventional tools of the trade. We believe that the time has come to introduce a new approach to understanding electronic devices. The “Electronics from the Bottom Up” series will produce a set of educational modules that introduce a new, and very general, way of understanding small electronic devices. This presentation discusses the rationale for this initiative and outlines our plans.

For a complete list of resources related to this project please see: Electronics from the Bottom Up.

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Tags, a resource for nanoscience and nanotechnology, is supported by the National Science Foundation and other funding agencies. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.