Development of a laboratory in which students could carry out experiments over the web has been taken up as a UGC project. Presently basic experiments related to device characterization and digital electronics are being set up. With the advent of Internet and World Wide Web with horde of information the teaching methods need to be upgraded. The class room teaching needs to be supported with hands on laboratory exercises even in the commercial training systems. Many of the learning courses launched to date provide a good alternative/ complaint to classroom teaching with the support of web enabled multimedia lessons. However especially for courses like electronics just the multimedia presentation is not enough and feels of actually working on a real system observing the positive and negative results of various actions is must. In view of such a need for hands on, many a times online courses need to be added with a laboratory component.
In the past, students had to be in the laboratory to gain practical experience; with effective remote laboratories,
students can be anywhere. Practical experience is a very important part of engineering education, but it is resource
intensive. Designing and conducting experiments can take time, money and energy. Sharing experiments locally and
remotely allows unique laboratory experiment to be utilized more fully, brings down the experiment cost per student,
and more time available to students. Our goal with the remote laboratory paradigm is to make the equipment that we
already have available to more students without taking away the experience of being physically present in the
laboratory. Internet provides the communication infrastructure between students and the experiments.
A system for digitizing and analyzing a sequence of images and obtain the trajectory of a particular object has been developed. The software is menu driven and user interactive. The ATPS could be used for a number of applications. It has been used for tracking a moving vehicle and an insect.
Work on implementation of Algorithms and systems in Field programmable gate arrays is being carried out. A digital frequency meter, printer interface, template search routine and image registration has been realized.
A PC Based tactile sensing system has been designed. A menu driven software package providing various options for acquisition and analysis of data has been designed. The system has been used for identification of geometric objects.
The department possesses good research level facilities for fabrication of discrete semiconductor devices. Oxidation and Diffusion furnaces, vacuum evaporation and magnetron sputtering systems for metallization, ebeam evaporation system, photolithography setup, ebeam lithography system are the important facilities available in the department in fabrication laboratory ( FAB Lab ). The FAB Lab has a fully equipped yellow room for optical lithography purpose. A SEM and plasma processing set up are also available for material characterization/processing . Development of Silicon based and thin/thick film microsensors is another activity carried out in the laboratory. A system has been made by setting up for micromachining of silicon and it has shown encouraging results in the attempt to fabricate micropressure sensors. This laboratory is engaged in carrying out research on synthesis and characterization of Plasma Polymerized Electron Beam Resist.
Magnetron sputtering system is used for depositing piezoelectric thin films like PZT. Also other oxides and nitrides film can be deposited using specific material targets . It is also used for deposition of gold thin films for device applications.
Physical vapor deposition system is employed for mainly metallization applications. Metals used for contacts like Gold, Aluminum with a thickness of few 100s of nm can be deposited. Also other insulating materials like AlF3 and BaF2 and metal oxide materials can be deposited.
Plasma asher is available with facility of having plasma ashing in presence of oxygen/ inert gas plasma. The instrument is used for passivation of polymer films as well as surface modification of thin films using gas ion bombardment principle.
Department has state of the art RF equipment for RF circuit design with which different types of Antenna, Filters, RF circuits, LNA¿s, Mixers etc. have been developed for the frequencies ranging from KHz to GHz. Different simulation software¿s like AWR (Applied Wave Research), and 4NEC2 are available. Vector Network Analyzer (Upto 3 GHz), Spectrum Analyzer (Upto 6GHz), RF function Generator (Upto 3 GHz), Waveform generator, MSO(mixed Domain Oscilloscope), DSO(Digital Signal Oscilloscope) are also present. The lab has different types of antennas simulated, designed, fabricated by students indigenously using the various facilities in the lab.
Projects going on in RF lab: Design, Simulation and Fabrication of Phased array antenna in LTCC (Low temperature co-fired Ceramic). Pranoti S. Bansode.
The research activities carried out in the Optoelectronic Sensors and Systems Laboratory include development of Integrated Optical components, MSM photodetectors, Universal Signal Conditioning system and fiber optic sensors for mechanical and chemical applications. Transmissive ESLMs using twisted pneumatic liquid crystal are designed and fabricated consisting of a 32 x 32 matrix pixel for optoelectronic logic processing. Presently, the activities are related to optical waveguides fabricated in glass using the ionexchange technique. Stress is laid on the sensing applications of integrated optic devices. Various Embedded Optical Fiber Sensor Modules have been designed likeoptical reflectance based micro displacement sensor probe , which is also used for strain and load measurement, Multi wavelength fiber optic based sensor for chemical analysis like pH, concentration and RI measurements of liquid and fluids, Fiber optic U shaped and Planer Optical Waveguide based online RI monitoring and Phsensor for liquids and fluids in Sugar Industries, Food Processing and Chemical Industries to analyze the concentration of ingredients, turbidity and viscosity etc, Tri-Stimulus Colorimetry based fiber optic probe for color sensing , MSM Photodetector.
A Virtual Instrumentation lab has been set up in collaboration with National Instruments, a Texas based company. Virtual Instruments for various applications are being developed.
The field of instrumentation has been revolutionized with the advent of computer age. Today the front panel as well as hardware of the instrument is being substituted with software, making the instrument cheaper, more versatile and virtual. The concept of virtual instrumentation has not only influenced the industry but is also affecting traditional academic research and teaching. It gives the ability to transform a personal computer into a number of powerful Virtual Instruments. The field of VI is breaking down the barriers developing and maintaining instruments that challenge the world of test, measurement and industrial automation.
Today globally competitive economy requires scientists, engineers and technicians who are competent with products used in the industry. The Department of Electronic Science has acquired expertise in the field of Microprocessor/PC based Instrument over the past 20 years. The research activity is focused on Intelligent Instrumentation along with DSP, Image processing, Machine Vision, Neural Network and Fuzzy Systems. Considering the expertise available in the Department, National Instruments, a Texas based company has come forward to collaborate and setup a Virtual Instrumentation laboratory on the Pune University Campus.
Hundreds of universities, technical schools abroad have made transition to virtual instrumentation. The emergence of computers as a multipurpose engineering and scientific tool can make researchers, teachers more productive and change the way students learn. The computers can be transformed into powerful, multipurpose laboratory tools that can replace expensive, outdated equipment.
The department has been actively pursuing the research in basic and applied sciences along with various developmental projects. This part of the research has been an integrated part with a view to understand and contribute to the future technology to come. Following is a brief summery of the research done. Dr. Shaligram has participated in the MOSTEC programme initiated at all India level to develop a software package for MOS processing. This was an attempt to analyze various processes as surface chemical processes and connecting the outcome to the experimental macroscopic parameters. The software was published in 1990.
The faculty of the department is also involved in Modeling and Simulation activities. Computer simulations are related to nonequilibrium phenomena, semiconductor devices and processes. The Department was a part of the MOSTEP programme initiated at all India level to develop a software package for MOS processing. This was an attempt to analyze various processes as surface chemical processes and connecting the outcome to the experimental macroscopic parameters. The department has participated in a National Program of Technology Simulator Development sponsored by DOE.
The program involved Monte Carlo calculations of 2D states of triangular potential well for silicon at the oxide interface considering various scattering processes.
In association with Univ. South. Cal. USA a code for atomistic growth of GaAs and AlGaAs using known diffusion coefficient and relevant properties of corresponding elements in the vapor form has been developed. This work has successfully explained various observations on III/V compound growth, including
RHEED oscillations, temperature dependence of layer by layer growth, roughening of interfaces between GaAs and AlGaAs, etc. In another collaboration with University of Maryland USA, simulations using various models are carried out to study the statistical physics of conservative as well as non conservative growths.Collaborative work with U. Mich. Ann Arbor, USA is being carried out to understand the catalytic behavior of CO on Pt surfaces. The main interest was to understand the oscillatory behavior of surface reactionusingnon linear dynamics. Further,the problem of brittle cracks in SiO2 has beeninvestigated through simulation studies. The well known fact that micro cracks are developed well before the critical stress is applied was explained using the effect of viscosity and thermal noise. Recently work is being carried out on establishing electronic structures of quantum dots of CdSe and ZnSe along with Physics Dept. of the Pune University. This study is intended to explain some of the experimental observations in spectroscopy related to quantum dots and also the diffusion behavior of nano particles.