70th annual FFA conference at UA

June 14, 1999

(by Ed Stiles, 621-3754) (Sent July 10, 2000)

Three Palo Verde High School teachers are making sophisticated light-emitting devices in a UA clean room this summer. They will take these devices back to their science and technology magnet schools this fall to show students the kinds of exciting projects they can pursue in engineering and science.
The teachers are making optical devices that light up with the school's initials "P.V." in green on a glass slide. They are using two high-tech fabrication methods to do this. The first is spin coating and the second is high-vacuum physical vapor deposition (PVD).
Spin coating involves pouring a liquid on the slide and spinning it at high speed to form a thin, uniformly thick film.
PVD requires more sophisticated equipment that deposits molecules and atoms in a high vacuum environment. Films 1/1,000th the thickness of a human hair can be formed this way. The delicate procedure requires a clean room environment because a speck of dust becomes a gigantic boulder on this otherwise uniformly thin surface.
The teachers plan to develop math and science lessons based on the technologies they are studying this summer. By giving students real-world examples from university laboratories they hope to motivate them to pursue careers in math, science and engineering.
The teachers are working in the state-of-the-art optoelectronic device fabrication laboratories at the UA Optical Sciences Center. The devices they are making are called OLEDs (Organic Light-Emitting Diodes). Currently, UA researchers are developing this technology, which soon may be used to produce low-power, high-brightness flexible displays for computers, calculators and other electronic devices.
Optical Sciences Professors Ghassan E. Jabbour, and Nasser Peyghambarian are developing the technology.
The teachers are Dan Schulter, Jan Liston and Brad Litin. Schulter and Liston are math teachers and Litin teaches chemistry.
The program is sponsored by the NSF/SRC Engineering Research Center for Environmentally Benign Semiconductor Manufacturing. Professor Farhang Shadman, of UA Chemical and Environmental Engineering directs the center.
Editors Note: The teachers will be working in the clean room at UA through July 14.
Contact Information: Sally Clement, Education Coordinator for the Center for Environmentally Benign Semiconductor Manufacturing, 626-6781, sclement@erc.arizona.edu