The purpose of CNSE’s Ph.D. programs is to prepare the student for a career as a skilled, productive research scholar in nanosciences or nanoengineering. The programs are intended for students with career interests in industrial research and development, academic scholarship and research, or government research agencies.
The Ph.D. programs are designed to develop the student's ability to discover fundamental knowledge pertaining to:
- The design, growth, and properties of nanomaterials, including metals, semiconductors, polymers, and chemical and biological materials
- The integration, processing, testing, and qualification of these materials in nanocircuitry, nanosystems, nanosensors, and integrated nano-optical systems
Significant emphasis within each discipline is placed upon the science and technological know-how for atomic scale material modeling, characterization, and metrology to develop the fundamental skills necessary for independent and original research.
Students accepted into one of the CNSE Ph.D. programs are required to construct a preliminary program of graduate study with the assistance of their academic advisor at the completion of the first year of study. This preliminary program will consist of the student's choice of concentration (specialization) and a preliminary concentration course curriculum.
CNSE's Nanoscale Engineering program provides corresponding skill and expertise in the design, fabrication, and integration of nanoscale devices, structures, and systems for the development and deployment of emerging nanotechnologies.
Nanoelectronics Engineering and Technology:Design, processing, fabrication, testing, and integration of nanoelectronic structures and devices for incorporation in emerging gigascale and terascale integrated circuit systems and architectures. Development of integrated process modules for novel nanoelectronics materials.
Optoelectronics and Photonics Nanoengineering:Design, fabrication, testing, and integration of integrated optoelectronic and photonic device structures using compound semiconductors. Testing and hybridization of optoelectronic/photonic devices in system-on-a-chip (SOC) and nano-electro-mechanical system (NEMS) architectures.
Spintronics Nanoengineering: Design, fabrication, testing, and integration of spintronic device structures. Testing and hybridization of spintronic devices, including incorporation in system-on-a-chip (SOC) and nano-electro-mechanical system (NEMS) architectures.
NanoSystem Engineering and Technology:Design, fabrication, packaging, and testing of nano/micro-electrical and nano/micro-opto-electrical mechanical components and nano/micro-fluidic components for incorporation in SOC architectures and systems.
Nanoengineering in Energy & Environmental Technologies:Development of nanotechnology engineering concepts for new and emerging applications in energy and environmental areas including fuel cells, solar cells, superconductors, sensors, power electronics, and supercapacitors.
Nanolithography Engineering and Technology: Design, development and engineering of nanolithography systems, components, and processes. Development and engineering of materials and metrologies for nanolithography.
Nanobiology Engineering and Technology: Design, development and engineering of nanobiological systems, components, and processes. Development and engineering of biomaterials and nano-bio-systems for SOC, nanomedicine, and health applications.
Requirements of the Ph.D. in Nanoscale Engineering *
1. Students admitted with an appropriate Bachelor's degree shall complete 60 credit hours of academic coursework in partial fulfillment of the Ph.D. degree requirements.
1a. Thirty-six (36) credit hours of NNSE coursework at the 500 level or higher with the following provisions:
1.a.i. Completion of the 12 credit-hour (four-course) "Foundations of Nanotechnology" sequence.
Nanotechnology is highly interdisciplinary, building upon core competencies from many traditional disciplines, including materials science, chemistry, physics, biology and electrical engineering. As a consequence, and because the undergraduate backgrounds of CNSE students are equally diverse, a "one size fits all" approach to course content and design is neither practical nor desirable.
To address these issues, a sequence of modular core courses, "Foundations of Nanotechnology," has been designed to provide students with unified core competencies, as well as to prepare them for their more specialized advanced coursework and individual research in the various CNSE Nanoscale Science and Nanoscale Engineering tracks.
"Foundations" represents a modular four-course sequence that has been specifically designed to provide the base scientific skill set required by the varied undergraduate backgrounds of students entering CNSE. The parallel and complementary modular platform of the "Foundations" sequence responds to the need for simultaneous CNSE course content delivery to students possessing undergraduate degrees in Physics, Chemistry, Materials Science, Mathematics, Biology, Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering.
The "Foundations" sequence serves an analogous role for practicing professionals in the fields of nanoscale science, engineering, and nanotechnology that have or plan to enroll in CNSE degree programs.
The "Foundations of Nanotechnology" sequence consists of four courses Foundations of Nanotechnology I – IV (NNSE 506, 507, 508 and 509), with two offered in the Fall semester and two in the Spring semester. Each course consists of coordinated modules specifically designed and sequenced by CNSE faculty to provide the fundamental academic acumen and core competencies necessary for students entering the fields of Nanoscale Science and Nanoscale Engineering.
1.a.ii. Completion of at least 9 credit hours of 600 or higher level coursework as advised relevant to a CNSE Nanoscale Engineering track.
1b. Nine (9) credit hours of seminar/external courses.
1c. Fifteen (15) credit hours of Ph.D. dissertation research.
2. Students admitted with an appropriate Masters degree shall complete 36 credit hours of academic coursework in partial fulfillment of the Ph.D. degree requirements.
2.a. Fifteen (15) credit hours of NNSE coursework at the 500 level or higher with the following provisions:
2.a.i. Completion of that portion of the "Foundations of Nanotechnology" course sequence for which the student did not receive course equivalency upon matriculation into the Nanoscale Engineering Ph.D. program.
2.a.ii. Completion of at least 6 credit hours of 600 or higher level coursework as advised relevant to a CNSE Nanoscale Engineering track.
2.b. Six (6) credit hours of seminar/external courses.
2.c. Fifteen (15) credit hours of Ph.D. dissertation research.
3. Preliminary Written Examination for Formal Admission to the Nanoscale Engineering Ph.D. program:
Admission to the Nanoscale Engineering Ph.D. program requires successful completion of a preliminary written examination covering fundamental topics in Nanoscale Engineering. The exam will be offered yearly and must be passed within two attempts to maintain academic standing in the Nanoscale Engineering Ph.D. program.
4. Preliminary Oral Examination for completion of the Nanoscale Engineering Ph.D. degree:
Normally, within 2 semesters of passing the preliminary written examination, students in the Nanoscale Engineering Ph.D. program must take and pass a preliminary oral examination relevant to a Nanoscale Engineering track. Successful completion of the preliminary oral examination is determined by a five-member oral examination committee. This committee consists of at least three members of the CNSE faculty (including the student's advisor who serves as chair) and at least one outside member (University at Albany faculty outside CNSE, or CNSE research partner). Upon passing this examination the student advances to candidacy for the Nanoscale Engineering Ph.D.
5. Submission and successful defense of a formal Ph.D. Dissertation:
Within one semester of passing the preliminary oral examination, the candidate must submit to his or her Ph.D. dissertation committee a proposal outlining an original Nanoscale Engineering research project constituting a Ph.D. dissertation. The candidate must describe the motivation and background for the dissertation topic; the critical milestones for completing relevant research tasks; and a statement of work outlining a specific research plan. The five-person Ph.D. dissertation committee consists of at least three members of the CNSE faculty (including the candidate's advisor) and at least one outside member (University at Albany faculty outside the CNSE, or a CNSE research partner).
Upon timely completion of the Ph.D. dissertation research project the candidate prepares a dissertation and submits the final draft to the dissertation committee. The committee ascertains the suitability of the draft and recommends amendments which the candidate must complete before the final defense is scheduled. Once approved by the committee, permission is granted for the candidate to present and defend his or her dissertation in a public seminar.
6. Ph.D. Publication Requirement:
For successful completion of the Ph.D. degree requirements, students are also required to be the first author on a minimum of two scientific publications that have already been accepted for publication in recognized peer-reviewed technical journals that are related to their concentration area.
*The Ph.D. in Nanoscale Engineering does not lead to New York State licensure for practicing engineers in civil construction, surveying or the trades.