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About This Course

This resource contains materials to prepare researchers to become effective users of the nano@stanford nanofabrication and nanocharacterization tools and facilities, as well as to be useful to anyone wanting to learn about nanofabrication. The nano@stanford facilities include the Stanford Nanofabrication Facility (SNF), the Stanford Nano Shared Facilities (SNSF), the Stanford Materials Analysis Facility (MAF), and the Stanford Environmental Measurement Facility (EMF). This course specifically includes tools and processes in SNF and SNSF. Prior to getting in-lab and hands-on training on particular pieces of equipment or processes in these facilities, lab members need to go through appropriate sections and subsections of this course. Please note this is an on-going course as we add more tool and processing sections (utilizing information from our current webpages, and creating new material), and also as we add and change tools and procedures in our ever-evolving facilities.

The preparatory training in this course involves different levels and methods of instruction and learning. The researcher will learn basic principles and concepts, as well as detailed operating procedures for equipment in the facilities. The content may be similar to what is taught in regular classes or lectures, but is presented in much smaller, more condensed units.

We believe these different levels and methods of learning will greatly help the researcher in becoming a better user of our facilities. The reasons are twofold. First, it will give the researcher much needed background knowledge and information for using the equipment, and choosing the correct tools to use. Second, a large number of our researchers come from a wide range of backgrounds and disciplines: biology, chemical engineering, aero-astro, medicine, and many others. Offering short introductions to plasma physics, optics, choosing the right sputter-deposition equipment, etc. will surely be beneficial to their success in using our varied resources.

Finally, this training and learning material should not only be very useful to our lab members, but to anyone interested in fabrication and characterization, whether they are researchers at other universities or other fabrication facilitates, or just interested in nanofabrication in general. Anyone can view these materials, either as part of a class somewhere or just on their own.


There are no prerequisites for this course. However, a basic understanding or science or engineering at the high school level, or in some cases, an introductory undergraduate level is recommended. As we discussed above, the material in this course is meant to help people coming from a wide range of science and engineering disciplines learn about and become efficient researchers in a nanofabrication facility.

Course Staff

This course and material were created by Stanford Nanofabrication Facility (SNF) and Stanford Nano Shared Facilities (SNSF) staff, including senior research scientists and staff engineers. nano@stanford serves academic, industrial, and governmental nanotechnology researchers across the U.S. and around the globe, providing nanofabrication and nanocharacterization tools and facilities for their use. nano@stanford is part of National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure and is supported by NSF under award ECCS-1542152.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can anyone take this course?

Yes, one does not have to be an SNF or SNSF lab member or in any way affiliated with Stanford University to take this course. Anyone can learn about nanofabrication and nanocharacterization techniques and tools and the principles behind them by reading any of the course material. However, only SNF and SNSF lab members can be qualified to use SNF and SNSF nanofabrication and nanocharacterization tools by taking this course (before taking the in-lab training), which is its primary purpose.

Can one earn a Statement of Accomplishment or a grade after taking this course?

No, while this course contains material and information that can be useful to anyone interested in learning about nanofabrication, its main purpose is to help train nanofabrication researchers, especially those utilizing the nano@stanford nanofabrication facilities, who may only need to look at specific sections. Hence it is not a course to be completed, and no Statement of Accomplishment or grades are offered.