Project Overview

NSEC: The Center for High-rate Nanomanufacturing (CHN)

# 0425826
Ahmed Busnaina (Principal Investigator)
Nicol McGruer (Co-Principal Investigator)
Glen Miller (Co-Principal Investigator)
Carol Barry (Co-Principal Investigator)
Joey Mead (Co-Principal Investigator)

The Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center entitled New England Nanomanufacturing Center for Enabling Tools is a partnership between Northeastern University, the University of Massachusetts Lowell, the University of New Hampshire, and Michigan State University. The NSEC unites 34 investigators from 9 departments.

The NSEC is likely to impact solutions to three critical and fundamental technical problems in nanomanufacturing:

  • Control of the assembly of 3D heterogeneous systems, including the alignment, registration, and interconnection at three dimensions and with multiple functionalities,
  • Processing of nanoscale structures in a high-rate/high-volume manner, without compromising the beneficial nanoscale properties,
  • Testing the long-term reliability of nano components, and detect, remove, or prevent defects and contamination.

Novel tools and processes will enable high-rate/high-volume bottom-up, precise, parallel assembly of nanoelements (such as carbon nanotubes, nanorods, and proteins) and polymer nanostructures. This Center will contribute a fundamental understanding of the interfacial behavior and forces required to assemble, detach, and transfer nanoelements, required for guided self-assembly at high rates and over large areas.

The Center is expected to have broader impacts by bridging the gap between scientific research and the creation of commercial products by established and emerging industries, such as electronic, medical, and automotive. Long-standing ties with industry will also facilitate technology transfer. The Center builds on an already existing network of partnerships among industry, universities, and K-12 teachers and students to deliver the much-needed education in nanomanufacturing, including its environmental, economic, and societal implications, to the current and emerging workforce. The collaboration of a private and two public universities from two states, all within a one hour commute, will lead to a new center model, with extensive interaction and education for students, faculty, and outreach partners. The proposed partnership between NENCET and the Museum of Science (Boston) will foster in the general public the understanding that is required for the acceptance and growth of nanomanufacturing.

The Center will study the societal implications of nanotechnology, including conducting environmental assessments of the impact of nanomanufacturing during process development. In addition, the Center will evaluate the economic viability in light of environmental and public health findings, and the ethical and regulatory policy issues related to developmental technology.

Source: NSF