Nanoscale Sciences Program Leading to the Doctor of Philosophy Degree
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 Science program provides the critical theoretical and experimental skill base and know-how for knowledge creation in the areas of nanoscale materials, structures, and architectures.
Nanoscale Science tracks for Ph.D. degree program:
Molecular Materials and Architectures: Fundamental material properties of molecular dots, wires, and crystals, quantum confinement and ballistic transport-based device structures, and the integration of molecular/electronic materials in nanodevice geometries. Advanced theoretical and computer simulation treatments of nanoscale optical, electronic, elastic, and thermodynamic properties.
Optoelectronic Materials and Architectures: Compound semiconductor material properties and fundamentals of compound semiconductor ultra-thin-film growth for optical and optoelectronic applications. Quantum confinement-based optical and optoelectronic properties. Optical and optoelectronic device architectures using single and compound semiconductors.
Spintronic Materials and Architectures: Compound semiconductor material properties and fundamentals of compound semiconductor thin-film growth for spintronic applications. Magnetic and nanomagnetic device architectures using single and compound semiconductors.
Ultra-Thin Film Single and Multilayered Nanomaterial Structures: Self-assembly, deposition, modification, and integration of single and multilayered thin film materials. Fundamental functionality relationships between nanoscale structures and dimensions and resulting film properties.
Nanoscale Materials Characterization, Analysis, and Metrology: Advanced nanoscale photon, ion, and electron based microscopic and spectroscopic analytical techniques and process metrologies for atomic and molecular-level material properties of ultra-thin films, nanomaterials and nanoscale devices and systems.
Nanomaterials for Nanotechnology: The science of design, deposition, and integration of atomic and molecular-level nanoengineered materials for nanotechnology-based applications.
Economic Impacts of Nanoscale Science and Nanotechnology: In-depth technical analysis of educational, workforce, and economic impacts of emerging nanoscale systems and architectures. Theoretical modeling and simulation studies of the technical impact of emerging nanoscale science concepts and disruptive nanotechnologies.
Requirements of the Ph.D. in Nanoscale Sciences
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:
1.a. 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 Science track.
1.b. Nine (9) credit hours of seminar/external courses.
1.c. 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 Science 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 Science 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 Science Ph.D. program:
Admission to the Nanoscale Science Ph.D. program requires successful completion of a preliminary written examination covering fundamental topics in Nanoscale Science. The exam will be offered yearly and must be passed within two attempts to maintain academic standing in the Nanoscale Science Ph.D. program.
4. Preliminary Oral Examination for completion of the Nanoscale Science Ph.D. degree:
Normally, within 2 semesters of passing the preliminary written examination, students in the Nanoscale Science Ph.D. program must take and pass a preliminary oral examination relevant to a Nanoscale Science 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 Science 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 Science research project constituting a Ph.D. dissertation topic. The candidate must describe the motivation and background for the dissertation; 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.