This Scalable NanoManufacturing (SNM) grant provides funding for the development of a high throughput, scalable nanomanufacturing machine for parallel nanolithography and parallel manufacturing of nanomaterials and devices. Research in the past two decades has demonstrated superior properties and performances of nanomaterials and devices. However, technologies for producing nanomaterial-based devices suffer from low throughput. To bring the advances in nano-science and technology to society, nanomanufacturing methods scalable to economically and industrially relevant production levels are needed. This machine will greatly expand the capability of commercial machines in terms of high throughput, high resolution, and high precision manufacturing, and will be the first commercial scale manufacturing machine capable of both parallel nanolithography and parallel nanomaterials synthesis. The development of the machine will be based on advances in using nanoscale optical antennas for nanomanufacturing. The nanoscale antenna produces high intensity, localized light spot; and an array of antennas is used for parallel nanomanufacturing. To synthesize nanomaterials, the localized energy from antenna will create localized chemical reaction environment for producing nanomaterials at precise locations, ready for device fabrication using standard semiconductor manufacturing tools.
If successful, the project will result in a unique and first of its kind machine for nanolithography and for manufacturing of nanomaterials that can be readily used for developing many types of nano/multi-scale devices. The development of such a commercial high throughput nanomanufacturing machine will enable manufacturing of nanoscale devices at economically and industrially relevant production levels, which will impact every sector in industry. The project will address fundamental and engineering challenges critical for the development of the machine, including nano-optics, on-line metrology, manufacturing engineering, and system integration. The project will also advance the relevant science and engineering. The ability to concentrate light into a nanometer spot with high efficiency has significant impact not only on nanomanufacturing but also on other areas in science and technology, from biological/chemical sensing to next-generation data storage. The project will also provide graduate and undergraduate students, including students from under-represented groups with trainings in interdisciplinary areas and industrial experience through internships in industry. Undergraduate students will be recruited to the project through Purdue undergraduate research fellowship programs. Research results will be introduced as new modules or special topics in a number of courses and undergraduate senior design projects, and will be outreached to high school students through Purdue outreach programs. Therefore, this project will have broader impacts on human resource development.