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News Archive 2001 - 2010

UT Arlington Nanotechnology Facility Gets $1 Million Improvements

June 9, 2010

The Nanotechnology Research and Teaching Facility at The University of Texas at Arlington is set to receive one million dollars in improvements that will enable researchers there to integrate nano- and micro-scale optical, electronic and mechanical devices and systems onto the same platform. The improvements are being made possible by University funds and a $535,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.

More than $900,000 will go toward the purchase of a precision wafer aligner/bonder that will be used to assemble diverse materials and electronics, including semiconductors, glass, metals and polymers, into three-dimensional nano-opto-electromechanical systems. The results will consist of novel biomedical, energy harvesting and structural health monitoring devices and systems not otherwise possible. The remainder of expenses will be used to modify existing laboratory areas to accommodate the new equipment.

Dr. Zeynep Celik-Butler, professor of electrical engineering and director of the Nanotechnology Facility, said one of the main potentials of the equipment will be the development of innovative approaches in combining fabrication techniques to pioneer new interfaces between semiconductor-based devices and biomolecules. These interfaces can be tailored for specific applications, both as sensors and actuators/controllers of biological phenomena.

Several interdisciplinary and collaborative efforts have already been undertaken in biological and medical applications such as implantable sensors and artificial organs; this research will be greatly accelerated by the wafer bonding equipment. Other applications under study are compact nanophotonic sensor-integrated microfluidic systems on a chip for real-time monitoring of biochemical interactions. Most of the work described will be led by Electrical Engineering Professors J. C. Chiao, Samir Iqbal and Robert Magnusson in addition to Dr. Celik-Butler.

The Nanotechnology Research and Teaching Facility is an interdisciplinary resource open to university and industry scientists in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. An annual workshop and an online discussion forum dedicated to nano-opto-electromechanical systems are being planned.

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