Graduate Student Fellow Program


Nanotechnology Master's students may apply to enter the Graduate Student Fellow (GSF) Program. Being a GSF allows students access to a unique experience to assist the professional staff at the Quattrone Nanofabrication Facility (QNF) at the Singh Center for Nanotechnology, thereby receiving practical experimental experience in the Center’s facilities in addition to the Nanotechnology Masters Degree curriculum. Students in the GSF are associated with different Master's programs, fostering interaction and networking among themselves. The GSF program runs from June 1st until May 15th of the succeeding year.

Program Goals

Through this Program, students obtain valuable insight into process development, cleanroom hygiene, fabrication best practices, and teamwork principles. GSFs are encouraged to be independent problem solvers and to leverage each others’ experiences and strengths to acquire new skill sets on the available tools in our unique facilities here at the University of Pennsylvania. Previous GSF fellows have found this hands-on experience extremely valuable as they move on either to industry or further study in experimental nanotechnology. Students have the opportunity to publish their work through Scholarly Commons, the University of Pennsylvania's open access institutional repository.

Project Focus and Examples

Sample projects typically fall into one of the following three categories:

1. Device Fabrication and Characterization: Developing devices in various fields such as microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), 2D graphene devices, blood cell/microfluidic filters, solar cell, structured color, levitation, directed self-assembly, and quantum dot and bioelectronic devices. The device images obtained by former GSFs are shown above.

2. Advanced Process Engineering: developing advanced process techniques in lithography (e-beam and UV), thin film etch and deposition, soft lithography, and laser micromachining

3. Teaching and Training Assistant: Teaching opportunities to engage the next generation of Nanotechnology Master's Students, including laboratory courses and providing the tool training for Singh Center users


GSF positions are compensated commensurate with Penn’s student assistant hourly pay scales. GSFs can work up to 20 hours per week on their research project in the cleanroom and nanocharacterization facility, teaching, outreaches, and other work their managers assign. Please note that a GSF position does not carry a tuition waiver.


110+ GSF students since 2015
PhD : Industry = 45:55
Company Examples:
Micron, Global Foundries, ASML, KLA, Applied Materials, NXP Semiconductors, Analog Devices, Tesla, Microsoft, Amazon, Boeing, Rystad Energy, Raytheon Technologies, L'Oréal, Startups
Title Examples:
Process Integration Engineer, Process Development Engineer, Materials Research Engineer, Research Scientist, Consultant, Founder, CEO
PhD School Examples:
University of Pennsylvania, MIT, Stanford, Cornell Univ., Georgia Tech., Caltech., Purdue Univ., Univ. of Washington, Univ. of Connecticut, Ohio State Univ., Northeastern Univ., Univ. of Delaware, Univ. of Minnesota, Drexel Univ., Univ. of Maryland, UCSD, Univ. of Rochester, Arizona State Univ., ETH Zurich, Technical University of Denmark