Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) Program in Nanoscale Science and Engineering

From Building Blocks to Functional Systems
This National Science Foundation Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship Program addresses the discipline of nanoscale science and engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. Scientific goals consider three important themes of this field: nanostructure synthesis and processing of novel functional devices and systems, nanoscale characterization, and modeling.

Each of these themes is designed to facilitate the integration of nanostructures into engineered systems. Students selected for these traineeships will be educated in Ph.D. programs that differ from those in individual departments in several key ways, involving multidisciplinary, multi-investigator mentoring and training, coursework from multiple departments, and a cross-disciplinary Designated Emphasis program, recently established at UC Berkeley.

IGERT Leadership

  • Principal Investigator: Connie Chang-Hasnain, University of California, Berkeley (formerly Eicke R. Weber)
  • Additional Principal Investigators: Kevin Healy, Steven Leone, and Peter Yu

IGERT Faculty and Their Affiliated PhD Program Membership(s)

  • Paul Alivisatos, Professor of Chemistry Director, Materials Sciences Division, LBNL and Molecular Foundry, LBNL Area(s) of Interest: Physical chemistry of semiconductor nanocrystals
  • Mark Alper, Adjunct Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology Deputy Director, Materials Sciences Division, LBNL and Program Leader, Biomolecular Materials
  • Nitash Balsara, Professor of Chemical Engineering Microstructured polymer materials; light and neutron scattering
  • Jill Banfield, Professor of Earth & Planetary Science and Environmental Science, Policy & Management Mineralogy; environmental geochemistry; geomicrobiology; nanogeoscience
  • Carolyn Bertozzi, Professor of Chemistry and Molecular & Cell Biology Cancer therapies; characterizations and functions of carbohydrate sulfotransferases
  • Jeffrey Bokor, Professor of Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences Nanofabrication technologies; physics of nanoelectronic devices
  • Connie Chang-Hasnain, Professor of Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences Semiconductor optoelectronic materials and devices; vertical cavity surface emitting lasers; MEMS; and novel optical systems
  • Nathan W. Cheung, Professor of Professor of Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences Fabrication technologies of nanostructures; electronic materials; heterogeneous integration of Microsystems
  • Daryl Chrzan, Associate Professor of Materials Science & Engineering Computational materials science; simulation of nanostructure growth and processing
  • Fiona Doyle, Professor and Chair of Materials Science & Engineering Solution processing of nanostructured materials; environmental impact of mineral and materials processing
  • Dan Fletcher, Assistant Professor of Bioengineering Optical and force microscopy, microfabrication, mechanical properties of cells
  • Ronald Gronsky, Professor of Materials Science & Engineering Materials Characterization, high-resolution electron microscopy
  • Jay Groves, Assistant Professor of Chemistry Physical mechanisms underlying cellular recognition and communication
  • Kevin Healy, Associate Professor of Bioengineering and Materials Science & Engineering Biomaterial interactions.
  • Tsu-Jae King, Associate Professor of Professor of Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences; Director, Microfabrication Laboratory Nanoscale Si devices and technology
  • Steven Leone, Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Physics Physical chemistry; chemical dynamics and nanostructured materials
  • Luke Lee, Assistant Professor of Bioengineering Biophotonics, Biomedical Polymer Opto Electro Mechanical Systems for Nano- and microscale biological sciences and medicine, BioMEMS, Biomimetic Nanostructures and Devices, Neural Interfaces
  • Arun Majumdar, Professor of Mechanical Engineering Nanoscale diagnostics; energy conversion and transport in nanostructures; optomechanical microdevices; nano-biomolecular engineering
  • Richard Saykally, Professor of Chemistry Physical chemistry; analytical chemistry; surface science, materials and solid state chemistry
  • Yuri Suzuki, Associate Professor of Materials Science & Engineering Magnetic thin films and devices; epitaxial oxide materials; photonic materials and photonic crystals
  • Birgitta Whaley, Professor of Chemistry Physical and theoretical chemistry; cluster and nanoscience; quantum information and computation
  • Eicke Weber, Professor of Materials Science & Engineering; Director, Integrated Materials Laboratory Semiconductor thin film growth, properties, and device processing; analysis of defects in semiconductors and semiconductor nanostructures
  • Peidong Yang, Assistant Professor of Chemistry Materials chemistry, nanostructured materials
  • Peter Yu, Professor of Physics Light scattering spectroscopies of semiconductors, high pressure physics, electronic, vibrational and optical properties of nanocrystals and quantum dots
  • Alex Zettl, Professor of Physics Electronic, magnetic and mechanical properties of nanoscale materials

Berkeley's IGERT Program Philosophy
Nanoscale Science and Engineering are rapidly evolving fields that are paving the way for the development of a wide array of new materials, which will be used as building blocks for novel devices and technologies. The enormous array of nanoscale synthetic successes establishes a compelling focus to integrate these nanoscale building blocks into functional systems. The world will be transformed by these advances, leading to improved health care, rapid growth in the economic base, safety and national security, communications, and information storage and transfer.

Traditional educational programs are not well-positioned to address the complex mixture of interdisciplinary and societal challenges that are required to achieve effective utilization of nanotechnology. The curricula provided by individual departments does not always adequately address the complex subjects needed to take full advantage of this embryonic field. Cross-disciplinary interaction is essential if the nanoscience discoveries in physics, chemistry, and materials are to be incorporated into exciting, practical, and useful engineering devices.

In this Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program at UC Berkeley, student education is crafted around a set of educational principles that will motivate physical science and engineering students alike to acquire an intimate understanding of the exquisite capabilities, as well as the limitations, of each other's fields. The basic themes of study focus on the synthesis, characterization, fabrication, and modeling of nanostructured materials and devices. These would be common to many doctoral programs throughout the country. However, students in this IGERT program will be educated in a culture and with a curriculum where concepts of engineering device development become second nature in basic physical science students, and important basic physics and chemistry of nanoscale materials and their fabrication are engrained in the engineering students' pursuits of device technologies. Students will additionally have access to the unique synthesis, analysis, and nanoscale building block materials through the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's newly created Molecular Foundry. A goal is to train the first generation of truly multidisciplinary scientists and engineers in nanoscience.

By learning key aspects of both scientific, synthetic, and engineering perspectives, and as a result of working with students and faculty from each of several disciplines, a vanguard of students will be established that have a new wisdom for the potential capabilities and limitations of nanoscience and nanoengineering. The goal is to stimulate a rapidly expanding integration of nanoscience chemistry, physics, and materials building blocks into superbly engineered nanotechnology systems. This future generation of scientific leaders will be trained not only in science and engineering, but in ethics and societal implications as well, always revolving around an important common denominator: the most important challenges and impacts of nanotechnology, from materials fabrication to device implementation. Active recruitment of a diverse student body will be sought by the IGERT principal investigators.

Requirements and Program Plan
The following list of requirements are necessary for successful completion of the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program at UC Berkeley.

  • Each student will have an IGERT advisor who will ensure that IGERT requirements are met, while completing all home-department duties (oral preliminary examination, etc.) in the required time frames.
  • All IGERT students will participate in the newly created Designated Emphasis in Nanoscale Science and Engineering across several Ph.D. programs. Requirements are described under the Designated Emphasis. Also see the IGERT course listing).
  • Student coursework will be completed in synthesis and processing, characterization, and modeling (see below).
  • Student selection of one of five thematic areas of research: nanoelectronics, nanophotonics, nanobiology, nanomagnetics, and nanomechanics.
  • Student selection of and responsibility to dual mentors, ideally one faculty member from both engineering and physical sciences.
  • Participation in internship program in industry, national labs or through international collaborations.
  • Optional participation in laboratory rotations for greatest exposure to broad range of research topics.
  • Participation in interdisciplinary seminar program and ethics.

Stipend for IGERT Trainees
It is anticipated that approximately 10 IGERT trainees will be appointed each academic year. The NSF IGERT Traineeship stipend will provide three full years of support at the standard NSF rate, currently of $30,000 per year (12 months beginning in August).

How to Express Interest in the Program The IGERT program, supported by the National Science Foundation, is open to graduate students who are U.S. Citizens. A limited number of stipends from matching support may be utilized for foreign students.

There are three ways to be considered for the UC Berkeley Nano IGERT program:

  • 1. Students can express interest through a short email indicating why this IGERT program suits his/her interests and why they would like to be considered for a traineeship. These emails should be sent to Student Affairs Officer Avi Rosenzweig, Nanoscale Science and Engineering Graduate Group Assistant, This should be received at the time of the application for graduate admission. Please indicate to which department your application for admission has been sent.
  • 2. Students can be nominated by a prospective graduate advisor.
  • 3. Students can be nominated by a graduate admissions faculty member.
  • Note: Nominations for the Fall '06 academic year were completed by mid-March. Contact the program assistant for further information.
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