biomedical device

Science Learning Institute


Foothill College has developed an innovative program in nanoscience and nanotechnology, with an emphasis on nanomaterials and characterization.

This program was developed by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) DUE 0903316.

Free AFM/SEM Microscopy Demonstrations

We offer an open microscopy lab on Saturdays as part of the nanotechnology and materials engineering program at Foothill College.

  • 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, though!) and provide an opportunity to talk with our nanoscience faculty.
  • The sessions are 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.

Saturday Schedule

  • 10 a.m.-12 noon
  • Sept. 9–Dec. 21, 2017

To schedule a session, contact Robert Cormia at or 650.949.7456 for details.

About Our Program

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 become familiar with 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 high-technology firms

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;
  • 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 electrical energy.

  • NANO10 - Nanoscience
  • NANO52 - Nanostructures and Nanomaterials
  • NANO53 - Nanocharacterization Tools
Review program curriculum, course listings and unit requirements at
Foothill hills


Lori Silverman, Ph.D. SLI Director


Building 4100 Room 4120