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Secondary Ion Mass Spectroscopy Virtual Lab Course Module

Instrument Types: 

Virtual SIMS Lab Module

Overview: As part of a Materials Analysis course at the California Polytechnic Institute (CalPoly), students prepared silicon samples doped with boron and phosphous in a teaching laboratory. The samples were then sent to the MRL at UC Santa Barbara for SIMS analysis. A mobile videoconferencing assembly was brought into the SIMS laboratory, and the analysis at UCSB was performed during a class session at CalPoly, where the students met in a videoconferencing classroom and observed the process remotely.

Students experienced a real-time video tour of the SIMS instrument set up while the sample was running, watched as the data collected on the instrument computer, and asked questions of the facility staff member about SIMS operation and the measurement process, as well as general information about the graduate student and research experience available at UCSB. The raw results of the measurement were then sent to the students electronically, which they used to calculate the doping profiles of the samples they had prepared.

Assessment: This program provided undergraduates at a non-PhD-granting institution access to instrumentation unavailable at their campus. The program is easily replicable for other teaching institutions and host facilities, requiring only a mobile videoconferencing setup, and a classroom equipped for video-conferencing, which are amenities many institutions provide. Funding for the videoconferencing time was provided at a discount as it was for a teaching application, and the remainder was covered by the MRL's MRFN program, supported by the MRSEC. For the students, the sample preparation is strightforward, and the expected results are simple and reliable, but adequately challenging for students to analyse.

Source Materials:

Course Syllabus for CalPoly's MATE 510 Course, Winter 2012 : MATE510 Syllabus Winter 2012.pdf

Virtual Lab Assignment Session Preparation: MATE510_UCSB MRFN_SIMS Samples Winter 2012.pdf

Analysis Report Assignment following Virtual Lab: MATE510 UCSB SIMS Analsysis Report.pdf