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The Future of Modern Technologies

About AMM&NS


The Advanced Materials for Micro- and Nano-Systems (AMM&NS) degree programme offers a comprehensive and intensive approach to a field of study that is rapidly defining the frontier of modern technologies. Students are exposed to the broad foundations of advanced materials that encompass processing, structure, properties and performance, with a particular emphasis on applications in microelectronics and emerging nanotechnologies. Fundamental understanding of the structure and properties of materials, coupled with system-driven design, fabrication, and optimisation of materials, comprise the core of the multidisciplinary coursework that prepares students to lead in the development and exploitation of new materials for future micro- and nano-systems. The AMM&NS degree programme also promotes a practice-based understanding of the paths through which critical advances in the fundamental science and engineering of materials impact, and often pace, the rapid evolution of information processing, communication, and sensing technologies, especially those based on systems of micro- and nano-scale devices.

AMM&NS graduate study also provides an exceptional opportunity for collaborative research between SMA students, world-renowned faculty, and industry experts, both in Singapore and in the US. Students will have the opportunity to interact with scientists and engineers at a number of research institutes, such as the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) and the Institute of Microelectronics (IME), as well as all three university partners, NUS, NTU and MIT.

Career Paths

The SMA programme in AMM&NS provides a unique and innovative educational opportunity for graduate students interested in careers in industry and research. Through a combination of cutting-edge research and a sound understanding of the principles of materials, graduates are poised to accept high-level positions as leaders in development of electronic, electromechanical, magnetic, photonic, and biomedical devices and systems, especially those based on integrated systems of micro- and nano-scale devices.

Courses are primarily for graduate students with an interest in the diverse nature of technology. Careers might include opportunities in:

This programme is designed to produce high-calibre professionals with a sound understanding of the design, application, preparation, characterisation, and optimisation of materials.

Programme Requirements

MIT M.Eng. and NUS S.M. Programme:

MIT Course # Course Title
3.205 Thermodynamics and Kinetics of Materials
3.225 Electronic and Mechanical Properties of Materials
3.57 Materials Selection, Design, and Economics
3.206 Introduction to Materials Engineering Practice
  Fundamentals of Semiconductor Device Physics
3.207 Technology Development and Evaluation*

3 out of 4 electives, including one graduate level processing course.

MIT Course # Course Title
  Compound Semiconductors and Devices
3.44 Electronic Materials and Thin Film Processing*
3.320 Atomistic Computer Modeling of Materials*
3.48J Materials and Processes for MEMS*

4 electives from a list of NUS courses and Yield, Reliability & Failure Analysis of Microsystems course.

*MIT courses simultaneously offered at MIT and in Singapore

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Course Descriptions

3.205 Thermodynamics and Kinetics of Materials.
Laws of thermodynamics. Entropy and free energy. Energies of defects. Diffusion mechanisms. Transition state theory and field effects. Solution theory. Phase diagrams. Nucleation in condensed phases. Interfaces. Crystal growth - atomistics, dendritic growth, solute redistribution and cellular growth. Phase transformation theories. Coarsening. Spinodal decomposition.

3.225 Electronic and Mechanical Properties of Materials.
Hydrodynamic representation of electrons. Origins of Ohms law. Hall effect. Electron energy bands. Electron waves. Effective mass. Origin of mechanical properties. Basic mechanics concepts. Stress at a point. General tensors. Microscopic and macroscopic aspects of plasticity. Dislocations in structural materials and thin films. Basics of viscoelasticity and creep. Fracture mechanics and micromechanisms. Fatigue damage and failure. Mechanical and electrical properties of semiconductors. Dielectric and optical properties. Coupled electrical/mechanical behavior and piezoelectricity. Microscopic origin of magnetization. Exchange and ferromagnetism.

3.57 Materials Selection, Design and Economics.
Theory and application of systems analysis techniques and engineering principles for identifying optimal materials, designs, and processes for specific applications. Topics include:

Fundamentals of Semiconductor Device Physics.
Drift and diffusion of carriers. Generation and recombination. Current continuity equations in semiconductors. Forward- and reverse-biased p-n junctions. Current injection. Zener and avalanche breakdown. Ideal and non-ideal metal-oxide-semiconductor capacitors. Structure and operation modeling of metal-oxide-semiconductor field effect transistors and bipolar junction transistors. Piezoresistance and silicon-based MEMS devices.

3.207 Technology Development and Evaluation.
Students explore in-depth projects on a particular materials-based technology. Students are expected to investigate the science and technology of materials advances and their strategic value; explore potential applications for fundamental advances; and determine intellectual property related to the materials technology and applications. Students map progress with presentations, and are expected to create an end-of-term document enveloping technology, intellectual property, applications, and potential commercialisation. In addition to classroom lectures, outside speakers present their expertise in technology, entrepreneurship, intellectual property, and commercialisation of materials technologies.

Yield, Reliability & Failure Analysis of Microsystems.
Fundamental modes and mechanisms of failure. Energy balance. Strain energy release rate and crack driving force. Principles of linear and inelastic fracture mechanics. Failure at material interfaces. Experimental techniques. Edge effects in thin films and multilayers. Cyclic deformation and fatigue fracture. Total life and defect-tolerant approaches to fatigue. Introduction to statistics and reliability analysis. Levels and functions of electronics packages. Basic materials issues. Design and assembly of packages ball grid arrays, flip chips, chip-scale packages, and multichip modules. Reliability. Failure mechanisms. Thermal management of IC packages. Circuit and device reliability-interface degradation. MOSFET aging and characterisation. Interconnect reliability-electromigration and stress migration. Accelerated testing. Circuit and process design for reliability.

3.44 Electronic Materials and Thin Film Processing.
Materials science and engineering of microfabrication processes for IC's and MEMS. Crystal growth and epitaxy. Diffusion and ion implantation. Thin film reactions, including oxidation and silicidation. Control of structure and property evolution in polycrystalline films. Surface and bulk micromachining. Kinetic phenomena leading to self-organisation. Use of process simulators.

3.320 Atomistic Computer Modeling of Materials.
Atomistic computer modeling as a tool to solve problems in materials science and engineering. Deterministic and stochastic methods. Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics. Energy models (classical and quantum-mechanical). Free energy computation. Phase transformations. Metastability. Order-disorder transformations. Defect properties. Transport properties. Emphasis on solving relevant problems in a variety of materials classes.

3.48J Materials and Processes for MEMS.
Presents a unified treatment of the key principles in materials and processing for the design and manufacture of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). Emphasis on materials and processes commonly used for fabrication for MEMS and not microelectronic systems. Includes discussion of the processing and properties of both thin and thick polycrystalline and amorphous films, wafer and thin film bonding, bulk micromachining techniques, and the relationships between processing and properties of active materials such as piezoelectrics, ferroelectrics and phase-transition materials. Key material properties and parameters and their relationships with microfabrication processes and applications are discussed, including elastic and inelastic deformation, fracture, residual stress, fatigue, creep, adhesion, stiction, and coupled-field constitutive behavior. Materials and process selection and case studies of applications provide a unifying theme.

3.206 Introduction to Materials Engineering Practice.
Introduction to methods of technology research and development in materials-based fields. Seminar-based methodology, employing speakers from inside and outside MIT.

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Degree Offerings

AMM&NS is not accepting applications for the September 2011 intake.

Pathways into the Programme

An MIT Masters AND an NUS Masters (Dual Masters)
In this 18 month programme, students simultaneously earn masters degrees awarded by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the National University of Singapore (NUS).

This programme provides students with the background they need to become leaders in technology-based enterprises, especially those connected to advanced materials. The programme begins with graduate-level classes surveying the fundamentals of materials science and engineering with a focus on applying these fundamentals to real engineering problems and systems. This foundation is followed by subjects that build expertise in specific areas selected by the student and his or her advisor. Students are also encouraged to explore areas of interest outside the materials field, studying entrepreneurship or technology management for example. The programme’s capstone experience involves student participation in engineering projects and technology assessment under the supervision of MIT faculty. Students spend the 1st Fall semester in residence at MIT, taking courses and exploring research opportunities with faculty. Students spend the Spring semester, Summer term and 2nd Fall semester in residence in Singapore, where they continue to take distance-enabled MIT courses along with other MIT students still resident in Cambridge. Singapore-based students continue to collaborate with their MIT faculty supervisor and associated students and staff through regular video-conferencing as well as face-to-face meetings when MIT lecturers travel to Singapore.

The MIT Master of Engineering degree in Materials Science and Engineering requires students to take 5 compulsory courses, 1 compulsory elective, 2 or 3 restricted elective and complete a thesis. The NUS Master of Science (AMM&NS) degree requires the student to take 4 compulsory courses and 4 elective modules. In addition, a student must complete a thesis project through a 6-month industrial attachment with a Singapore company.

An MIT Masters and an NUS/NTU PhD
This complementary professional master's degree programme trains students to apply their knowledge of advanced materials to industrial challenges, focusing primarily in the area of microelectronics and emerging nanotechnologies. The PhD degree builds on NUS and MIT coursework and faculty mentoring from all three university partners, to include a semester-long industry, research institute, or university-based research project in Singapore. This provides an opportunity to apply the student’s new understanding of the principles of materials engineering and technology assessment in research or engineering-based enterprises.

The MIT Master of Engineering degree in Materials Science and Engineering requires students to take 5 compulsory courses, 1 compulsory elective, 2 or 3 restricted elective and complete a thesis. The PhD degree provides training in a particular area of specialization and the students must pursue coursework modules which consist of 4 compulsory courses and 2 thesis-related electives.

An NUS/NTU PhD degree with SMA Certificate
The doctorate programme prepares students for advanced careers in industrial research and development centres, as well as research institutes or academic departments involved in cutting-edge research with a focus on applications in micro- and nano-systems. The Ph.D. degree programme includes 4 compulsory courses and 2 thesis-related electives. Thesis research is co-supervised by faculty from Singapore and MIT, and in many cases, is carried out in collaborations with researchers in Singapore’s research institutes. Thesis research topics range from problems in fundamental materials physics to development of new nano-scale devices. Completion of the Ph.D. programme may require three or more years. All Ph.D. students will have the opportunity to spend at least one semester at MIT to take courses and conduct research with MIT students and faculty.

PhD students are required to attend seminars and present their current research to faculty members, graduate students and visitors as part of the Graduate Seminar requirement.

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Graduate Fellowship

Singapore-MIT Alliance Objectives
SMA is an unparalleled and exciting distance-technology enabled educational and research opportunity – a compelling new value proposition – that attracts and retains the very best engineering and life sciences graduate students and researchers from across Asia. SMA develops talented human capital for Singapore’s industries, universities, and research establishments; provides a platform and vehicle for organizational and institutional learning that will raise the general level of all partner institutions; creates world-class educational programs and high-impact research initiatives in areas crucial to the growth of the Singapore economy; and fosters strong academia-industry-Research Institute collaborations, providing the basis for an enduring and viable partnership. SMA is characterized by quality, diversity, integrity, commitment, and service – both to Singapore and to the global knowledge community.

Graduate Fellowship Program
Students who receive a SMA Graduate Fellowship will receive full support for tuition, stipend and travel. The students will be eligible, depending upon the programme they are accepted into, for the following degrees: an MIT Masters and an NUS/NTU Masters; an MIT Masters and an NUS/NTU PhD; or an NUS/NTU PhD.

SMA has established a rigorous screening process to ensure that only the most able applicants become SMA Graduate Fellows.

The following conditions apply:

  1. Only applicants who will have received a Bachelor’s degree by the time that a programme’s academic year commences are eligible. Applications will also be accepted from students who have already received a Bachelor’s degree.
  2. Only applicants who have been independently and separately admitted to both MIT and NUS/NTU are eligible. Applications will be accepted from students who are awaiting confirmation of admission into each of these universities.
  3. Evidence of past accomplishments, academic potential, leadership potential, the potential for producing innovative research, creativity, and moral and ethical values are some of – but not exclusively – the characteristics that the Fellowship committee will consider.

In addition to your application, you must submit:

  1. A one-to-three page summary explaining your aspirations for applying for an SMA Graduate Fellowship, what you intend to do upon completion of your studies, and your future career goals. Please include your name (family name in capital letters first, followed by given name in lower-case letters) in the top right corner of each page.
  2. When received, you must send a copy of your acceptance letter from MIT to the Singapore-SMA Office (located at E4-04-10, 4 Engineering Drive 3, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117576).

Learn more about MIT’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering graduate programme and the AMM&NS Programme.

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