The NanoFabrication Facility at the Advanced Science Research Center at the City University of New York is an interdisciplinary research space which is home to a diverse community of researchers who conduct work in the fields of nano-electronics, photonics, nano-bio interfaces, and several other fields enabled by nanofabrication. A key challenge, which is addressed by the purchase of a high throughput, large area electron beam lithography system is the ability to quickly and reliably generate patterns across multiple length scales: from tens of nanometers to several centimeters in size. In doing so, the system will accelerate research and enable the researchers to rapidly and cost effectively prototype electronic, photonic, and other devices which will serve as the basis of future technologies. Furthermore, the laboratory is a NYC based hub for mentoring high school, undergraduate, graduate students, and early career researchers. This system will be used to prepare students to tackle the complex problems facing the U.S., the STEM research community, and the world. In the long term, significant societal impact is anticipated in the development of fundamentally new technologies for health technologies, environmental science and energy generation.
Electron beam lithography is a direct write / maskless lithographic technique used to rapidly generate patterns with nanometer resolution. In the past decade a large number of new material systems, such as two and three dimensional topological insulators, graphene, and transition metal dichalcogenides and many others emerged with the promise of revolutionizing the fields of photonics, nanoelectronics, and nano-bio interfaces. If successfully implemented, devices made from these materials include high mobility field effect transistors, topological and gate-controlled superconducting circuits, and high efficiency optical and optospintronic architectures, and fault-tolerant quantum computers. During the past decade a lot of fundamental research was done to understand the scientific principles that underpin the operation of these devices. The next challenge that must be overcome in order to realize the potential promise offered by these materials is the ability to build large scale prototype devices to show that these materials systems are viable candidates for 21st century technology. The acquisition of a high throughput electron beam lithography system is a key step in solving these challenges by enabling the rapid prototyping of novel devices.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.