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Summer School for Silicon Nanotechnology (SSSiN)

Program Dates: 9 July - 17 August, 2018

Application Deadline: May 1, 2018 (Jan 1, 2018 for foreign applicants who will need a visa)

2016 SSSiN participants
2016 Summer School for Si Nanotechnology Participants and Mentors


Run by Prof. Michael Sailor since 2003, the Summer School for Silicon Nanotechnology (SSSiN) is an intensive, six week workshop on the synthesis, properties, and applications of porous silicon-based nanomaterials. Based on the book "Porous Silicon in Practice" this hands-on course begins with an intensive training in theory, techniques and laboratory methods of silicon nanotechnology, and concludes with a capstone “Discovery Project”- an independent research project implemented by the student under the mentorship of a current research group member.

SSSiN students in lab 2014
UCSD undergraduate mentor Rhiannon Kennard (center) with her team Lianfei Yan (left) and Tushar Kumeria (right).
SSSiN discovery projects The capstone “Discovery Project,” is an independent research project implemented by the student under the mentorship of a current Sailor research group member. Many SSSiN students arrange to stay longer (up to 6 months) to complete a more extensive project, with the goal of producing a scientific publication. Many high school participants have translated their projects into California Science Fair, Lego Robotics Challenge, or Intel Science Talent Search competitions.
High School mentor Gha Lee (center) with fellow high school students Hithaishi Paraselli and Tessa Martin (right)

The Lectures are held every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9-11 AM. Topics include:

(1) Introduction to porous silicon—background and overview
(2) Etching and electrochemistry of silicon
(3) Semiconductor fundamentals
(4) Photoluminescent Si "Quantum Dots"
(5) Passive optical nanostructures—photonic crystals, optical diffraction
(6) Characterization incl. optics, FTIR, SEM, BET, Contact Angle
(7) Optical biosensing, chemical sensing
(8) Freestanding porous silicon microparticles, nanoparticles, nanowires
(9) Composites
(10) Chemistry of porous Si
(11) Targeted drug delivery and in vivo systems
Heidi in SSSiN



A current resume, personal statement including description of past research or related experiences and a brief Discovery Project proposal, and up to 3 letters of reference should be sent to Put "application for 2018 UCSD Summer School for Silicon Nanotechnology" in the subject field.


This is an immersion program. The course runs weekdays from 9 am to 4 pm although there may be a few later days depending on individual projects. It is held in Pacific Hall on the UCSD campus (directions are here). Tutorial lectures are held every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 am-11 am, involving lecture, in-lab demonstrations, and student presentations. The remainder of the time is spent in the laboratory working on the course modules and the Discovery Projects. The Discovery Projects are performed in 2-4 person teams.

Each participant must supply:


Applications are considered on a rolling basis.

Cutoff date for domestic applicants is May 1, 2018.
Applications for foreign participants are due on Jan 1, 2018 (if you are an incoming UCSD graduate student, application is same as for domestic, May 1, 2018).

Financial Support

There is no financial assistance available for this program. All participants must have full support for travel, living expenses, health insurance, and any applicable visa fees (the university charges a $425 visa processing fee).


Project funding supplied in part by the National Science Foundation (CBET-1603177). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.