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Foothill College has developed an innovative five course program in nanoscience and nanotechnology, with an emphasis on nanomaterials engineering and materials characterization. This program is partially funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) DUE 0903316. Nanoscience is an interdisciplinary field based on principles related to the behavior of matter and energy at the atomic level in chemical, biological and material systems. Upon completion of this program, students will know how to operate state-of-the-art materials characterization tools and nanofabrication equipment, as well as be able to apply the concepts of nanoscience to emerging technology fields such as clean energy technology, biomedical devices and high-performance materials.

Our program emphasizes the fundamentals of the nanoengineering method that include application-driven process, properties, nanostructures, fabrication and characterization, the PNPA model. Students learn to apply these principles to further understand and create engineering solutions for industrial applications. Through projects and laboratory assignments, students learn structure-property relationships, process optimization and consistent material manufacturing. They learn skills to support fundamental research and development, process development, characterization and effective manufacturing practice in all sizes of high-technology firms.

PNPA Rubric
P-N-P-A Rubric

The program offers three career paths: a two-year degree program for the technician who is interested in the science, engineering and manufacturing of nanotechnologies; traditional engineering for the university transfer student who intends to pursue a concentration in nanoscience; and career development for the working professional.

Our faculty conduct research at NASA Ames in advanced materials including nanocarbon and graphene, nanowires, and advanced materials for conversion of light into energy and capturing carbon dioxide.

  • NANO10 - Nanoscience
  • NANO51 - Nanotechnology Applications
  • NANO52 - Nanostructures and Nanomaterials
  • NANO53 - Nanocharacterization Tools
  • NANO54 - Nanofabrication Methods

Review program curriculum, course listings and unit requirements at

AFM/SEM Microscopy Sessions 

As part of the nanotechnology and materials engineering program, Foothill College offers an open microscopy lab where students and the 'scientific public' can learn to use a table top SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope), and participate in demonstrations of an AFM (Atomic Force Microscope). These sessions are free (remember to pay for parking) and provide an opportunity to talk with our nanoscience faculty. Ideal for high school and junior high students, especially AP Science (12 years old or older). We supply samples to look at, including semiconductors, magnetic media, polymers, metals and ceramics.

AFM/SEM Microscopy Session Schedule

  • 10ish - 1ish Saturdays
  • April 5th - June 27th (excluding holidays)
Contact Robert Cormia to schedule a session: or 650.949.7456
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