Bulletin of the American Physical Society
2018 Annual Meeting of the APS Four Corners Section
Volume 63, Number 16
Friday–Saturday, October 12–13, 2018; University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
Session L08: Physics Education
11:20 AM–12:32 PM,
Saturday, October 13, 2018
CSC Room: 13
Chair: Claudia DeGrandi, University of Utah
Abstract ID: BAPS.2018.4CS.L08.2
Abstract: L08.00002 : Incorporating Materials Research into Undergraduate Education
11:44 AM–12:08 PM
(Weber State University)
(Weber State University)
Materials research is an interdisciplinary field with a wide range of applications of interest to undergraduate physics students. When employed in an undergraduate program, it can be a useful tool to transition students from undergraduate work to graduate level or industry opportunities. Two pathways exist for incorporating materials research into an undergraduate education: through courses and through independent undergraduate research. At Weber State University (WSU), we are employing course based undergraduate research experiences into both our lower division and upper division laboratories. In our lower division laboratory, we have incorporated a thin film materials lab in place of our traditional diffraction and interference laboratory. While we retain pieces of the traditional lab, students are able to use thin films to explore topics in modern technology like anti-reflection coatings (ARC), transistors, and smartphone touchscreens. SiO2 films sputtered in-house at WSU are used as the basis for the ARC. At the upper division level, we employ a full materials characterization laboratory course, giving students the opportunity to study and perform a variety of characterization techniques, sputter thin films, and create a final project.
In addition to course work, independent undergraduate research can be a vehicle for providing data analysis, management, and handling experience vital to a variety of career pathways. We have a selective absorber for solar water heating project involving multiple undergraduate students. In this project, Mo/SiO2 thin films are co-deposited through RF sputtering and analyzed using scanning electron microscopy, ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy, and emissivity measurements. The films are incorporated into a solar water heating system for device testing. We will be discussing the preliminary results from this project.
To cite this abstract, use the following reference: http://meetings.aps.org/link/BAPS.2018.4CS.L08.2
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