The faculty members associated with the Idaho Microelectronics Laboratory (IML) are dedicated to the University of Idaho
’s mission of undergraduate and graduate education as well as research in the field of microelectronics. While there is significant expertise in many aspects of microelectronics, the principal focus at IML is electronic packaging and "back end" processes associated with device fabrication.The principal objectives of IML are research, scholarship, outreach, and education.
Education is the primary focus of the faculty at IML. This effort includes both course work at the undergraduate and graduate levels and organized and individual laboratory experiences for students at all levels. Though the course work is the cornerstone of the learning process, in many cases lectures alone are inadequate for students to develop an appreciation of the complexities of microelectronics.
With that in mind the laboratory provides tools that allow hands on experience for students in important aspects of microelectronic packaging such as wafer dicing, wire bonding, die attach, screen printing, Low Temperature Co-fired Ceramics and substrate fabrication. The capabilities of IML are listed in detail here.
In addition, to the traditional role of lectures and laboratory courses IML also provides an expanded vehicle for education through organized research. In particular, the faculty has traditionally sought a strong industrial involvement through sponsored research.This approach allows students to work on innovative topics and ensures the relevance of the program.
Students who engage in solving a problem for an IML industrial member gain far greater hands on experience not only in microelectronics but also in project management and a host of other critical skills that are essential to success in the work place. These students are therefore better equipped to contribute to a company’s engineering staff as fresh graduates than students from many other programs. In addition, this sponsored research provides companies and governmentagencies with a vehicle for research. A more detailed discussion of the laboratories ongoing and past research is available here.
Outreach is also a key part of the IML mission and takes the forms of courses offered through the University of Idaho’s educational outreach program, as well as through professional development courses offered at conferences.
Most of the courses taught locally by the IML faculty are also offered periodically through the educational outreach program. These courses are a full semester in length, are available to anyone in the world via DVD or internet, and are honored as colleague credit. The professional development courses, in contrast are more focused daylong lectures on a particular topic.
The fourth and final component of the IML mission is scholarship. The faculty members are actively engaged in publication of journal and conference papers, as well as books, book chapters, and presentations on key topics in Microelectronics and Electronic packaging. Many of these publications and presentations are available to IML members for download as pdf files.