Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: 202200253
FEM theory and COMSOL simulations for micro- and nanodevices
Course info
Course module202200253
Credits (ECTS)5
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Contact M. Odijk
Examiner D. Alveringh
K.F.A. Jorissen
Contactperson for the course M. Odijk
Examiner M. Odijk
Examiner N.R. Tas
Academic year2022
Starting block
Application procedureYou apply via OSIRIS Student
Registration using OSIRISYes
  • The student can explain the basics of finite element techniques and can apply these to solve the common partial differential equations of physics.
  • The student can distinguish between elliptic, hyperbolic and parabolic partial differential equations, and formulate initial and boundary conditions.
  • The student can translate a physics problem, and set-up a Finite Element calculation in a package like COMSOL for a multi-domain (e.g. electro-mechanical or microfluidic) problem and validate the result of the calculation.
  • The student is able to report and reflect on the results obtained from finite element simulations. This includes a detailed description that helps others to reproduce the work, and a discussion about the validity of the model in light of the physical reality the model represents.
In this course, students learn about finite element modelling (FEM), as a way to solve complex physics problems. The theoretical background is offered in a select set of lectures (tutor P.J. de Boeij), finalized by a written exam. Simultaneously, students learn how to use a modern FEM program such as Comsol Multiphysics. In a set of smaller assignments, students learn how to use the program, and how to define a (multi)physics problem. In the second part of the course, students have to work on solving a larger, and more complex multiphysics problem.

The course is organized along two application domains, following specific tracks in the NT program:
  • Microfluidics: Mass transport, Poisson Nernst Planck, and/or DEP.
  • MEMS: including (but not limited to) Comb drive.

It is important that students have a solid background in the relevant physics domain, as for example provided in the courses advanced MEMS design, or (one of the courses offered in) Lab on Chip and/or Nanofluidics.

There are no obligatory books that have to be bought. All required material (notes, readers) will be offered via the digital learning environment (Canvas).
Participating study
Master Nanotechnology
Participating study
Master Electrical Engineering
Required materials
Recommended materials
Lecture notes FEM
Assignment readers
Instructional modes


Design validation of Nano-engineered devices

Kies de Nederlandse taal