University of Massachusetts -- Amherst

University of Massachusetts -- Amherst
Type Disciplines
State University Chemistry Engineering Electronics Nanomaterials Fabrication Composites Nanoparticles
Address Postal Code
300 Massachusetts Ave. 01003
City State / Province
Amherst MA
E-mail Country
Web Phone
link (413) 545-0111
(413) 545-0082

The University of Massachusetts -- Amherst has establishing a Nano-Imprint Lithography (NIL) laboratory to research capabilities in nanoscale device manufacturing.

The laboratory will aid in the study of nanotechnology and the development of new technologies such as chemical sensors, faster and more stable computer chips, and power management devices for electric vehicles.

Delivery and installation of the new equipment is expected by spring 2006. Nano-imprint lithography is based on the ancient craft of embossing adapted to modern semiconductor needs to fabricate features as small as 20 nanometers. In combination with plasma etch techniques, the system will transfer polymer patterns to inorganic materials that can be used in devices. Orders have been placed for an Imprio™ 55 Step and Flash nano-imprint lithography instrument from Molecular Imprints, Inc. and a Phantom II Reactive Ion Etch (RIE) plasma etching system from Trion Technology, Inc.

The university is the recipient of $16 million in funding (from the National Science Foundation, the John Adams Innovation Institute, and state funds) for its Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing. The university is also focuses on allowing scientists to engineer and build materials 1,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair.


The W.M. Keck Nanostructures Laboratory is a part of the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) and the Silvio O. Conte National Center for Polymer Research at UMass Amherst. It is equipped with several Atomic Force Microscopes, Optical Microscopes, Variable Angle Spectroscopic Ellipsometer (VASE), Thin Film Optical Profilometer, Stylus Profilometer, Metal Evaporator etc. for the use of UMass community and as well as from other academic institutions and Industry.

The mission of the Keck Nanostructures Laboratory is to provide access to material characterization equipment, technical support, training and consultation, as well as to perform a range of services for users in the area of Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), Small Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS), Variable Angle Spectrocopic Elliposmetry (VASE) and Optical Microscopy. The laboratory capabilities include high-resolution imaging of materials structure, analysis of X-ray Diffraction patterns, and Thin Film characterization. In addition the Nanostructures Laboratory has access to the Confocal Laser Scanning Microscope from the Optical Microscope facility of the MRSEC.

  • Evolved Nanomaterials Sciences of Cambridge, Mass., fabricates nanomaterials and specializes in chiral separations, an integral step in pharmaceutical discovery and purification. The company was formed after many years of research in the Tufts University chemical and biological engineering departments.
  • Forge Partners LLC of Wellesley, Mass., is a technology venture creation and investment management company targeting early stage opportunities in innovative technologies with an emphasis on nanotechnology and life sciences companies.
  • IBM Corp., an international leader in the development and manufacture of computer systems, software, networking, storage devices and microelectronics, will be an evaluation partner in the nanoelectronics area and a test bed development partner.
  • Lucent Technologies (Bell Laboratories) provides the CHM with nanofabrication services through its New Jersey Nanotechnology Consortium facilities in Murray Hill, N.J. Key assets include an end-to-end fabrication facility with equipment valued at more than $400 million, and one of the world’s few e-beam lithography tools dedicated to nanotechnology. Lucent is a leading global research and development company that employs over 7,500 scientists and engineers.
  • Molecular Imprints Inc. of Austin, Texas, a world leader in imprint lithography, is a global developer and manufacturer of nanolithography systems for manufacturing applications in nano devices, microstructures, advanced packaging, bio devices, optical components and semiconductor devices.
  • Novellus Systems, headquartered in San Jose, Calif., is a leading supplier of chemical vapor deposition, physical vapor deposition, electrochemical deposition, chemical mechanical planarization, ultraviolet thermal processing and surface preparation equipment used in the manufacturing of semiconductors. Novellus will evaluate technologies developed in test bed trials of ultra-low dielectric constant films for semiconductor applications.
  • SCMaterials Inc. of Camden, Maine, is a start-up venture commercializing metal deposition processes developed at UMass Amherst that use supercritical fluids for ferroelectric random access memory (FeRAM) and dynamic random access memory (DRAM).
  • Seagate Technologies of Scotts Valley, Calif., the world’s largest manufacturer of disc drives, specializes in hard-drive products including handheld and in-home audio and video, pocket and portable storage and notebook computers. Seagate will collaborate in research of magnetic storage media.
  • TIAX LLC of Cambridge, Mass., is a technology development firm formed from Arthur D. Little’s technology and innovation business, with a staff of 250 scientists, engineers and industry experts. TIAX will play a critical role in transforming the innovations that emerge from CHM into market-ready products and technologies. TIAX will assist with the CHM’s system-level nanomanufacturing test beds, lead technology visioning workshops, act as a liaison between academic and industrial stakeholders, and be an advisor in management of the center.

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