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Summer School for Silicon Nanotechnology (SSSiN)

Program Dates: 6 July - 21 August, 2020

Application Deadlines: May 1, 2020 (for domestic applicants and for students enrolled in a UCSD graduate degree program). Feb 15, 2020 (for foreign applicants who will need a visa).

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


Begun in 2003, the Summer School for Silicon Nanotechnology (SSSiN) is an immersive six week workshop on the synthesis, properties, and applications of porous silicon-based nanomaterials. It is a unique course in that it integrates participants from a wide variety of backgrounds and skill levels: high school students, undergraduates, graduate students, post-docs, industry researchers, and university professors. The course elements include lectures, hands-on laboratory training, and a capstone “Discovery Project”- an independent research project implemented by a team of trainees 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 “Discovery Project,” is an independent research project implemented by a team of 2-4 students 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 initiating a longer-term collaboration or 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) Semiconductor fundamentals
(3) Etching and electrochemistry of silicon
(4) Photoluminescent Si "Quantum Dots"
(5) Passive optical nanostructures—photonic crystals, optical diffraction, Fabry-Perot layers and multilayers
(6) Characterization including porosity measurements, optics, FTIR, SEM, BET, Contact Angle
(7) Freestanding porous silicon microparticles, nanoparticles, nanowires
(8) Chemistry of silicon nanostructures
(9) Biomaterials and medical applications of silicon nanostructures, including targeted drug delivery and in vivo systems
(10) Metal and polymeric composites with porous silicon
(11) Energy related materials including Li-ion anodes and thermoelectrics
(12) Optical biosensing, chemical sensing
Heidi in SSSiN



A current resume, personal statement including description of past research or related experiences, a brief proposal for your Discovery Project, and up to 3 letters of reference should be sent to Put "application for 2019 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). Tutorials are held every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 am-11 am, which involve lecture, in-lab demonstrations, and student presentations. The remainder of the time is spent in the laboratory working on the course experimental modules and the Discovery Projects.

Each participant must supply:


Applications are considered on a rolling basis.

Cutoff date for domestic applicants is May 1, 2019, though the course participant list is usually locked down by March.
Applications for foreign participants are due on Feb 15, 2019 (if you are an incoming UCSD graduate student, application deadline is the same as for domestic applicants, May 1, 2019).

Financial Support

There is no charge to participate in this program. However 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). There is no financial assistance available for participation in this program.


Project funding supplied in part by the National Science Foundation (CBET-1603177), by the EU RISE program (Nano-OligoMed project GA n°778133), and by generous donations from private individuals. 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 or the University of California.