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Nanomanufacturing Summit 2009: Day 3 Brief

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Nanomanufacturing Summit 2009
The Nanomanufacturing Summit 2009 was held in Boston, MA from May 27 - 29, 2009. The event closed with two parallel sessions which covered topics on Advanced Tools and Processes for Nanomanufacturing to Fundamental and Enabling Science to Nanomanufacturing Applications.

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In the session on Fundamental and Enabling Science speakers presented new concepts for research in nanotechnology that provides the basis to further the understanding of nanomanufacturing sciences. Michael Chandross from Sandia National Laboratory presented a discussion of process modeling research that could predict the dispersion of nanoparticles in suspension under various conditions. The models also could predict patterning using nanoimprint techniques, and were highly accurate provided reasonable estimates of interface adhesion forces. Ghulam Moeen Uddin from Northeastern University discussed the investigation of quality and repeatability in nanomanufacturing processes in which design of experiments was combined with advanced artificial intelligence algorithms to better predict the process performance for Magnesium Oxide growth by molecular beam epitaxy. Uddin also pointed out that the model was accurate enough to provide enhanced understanding of the physical processes involved. Li Zeng from the University of California Berkeley’s Center for Scalable Integrated NAnoManufacturing (SINAM) presented an overview of ongoing work in the center, with a focus on some of the plasmonic nanopatterning projects and related testbed efforts. Rajratan Basu from Worcester Polytechnic Institute presented results from research on carbon nanotubes dispersed in liquid crystal in which he discussed a nano-electromechanical system and non-volatile memory effect resulting from the incorporation and control of CNTs via a nematic liquid crystal platform.

In a session on Advanced Tools and Processes for Nanomanufacturing II, speakers discussed emerging and patented tools for nanomanfuacturing and presented overviews of two major nanomanufacturing research centers. William King from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign presented heated cantilever probes as an efficient and scalable tool for fundamental measurements of materials as well as basic nanomanufacturing through thermal deposition, alignment, and nanoscale thermo-chemical conversion. Compared to standard cantilever tips, the diamond tips used in this research indicate no signs of wear. Mike Nelson of NanoInk described the company's patented Dip Pen Nanolithography processes as a versatile, efficient, and scaleable option for nanomanufacturing. In addition, Dr. Nelson described the composition of the NanoInk Business Units, which include efforts in nanofabrication, detection and anti-counterfeiting technologies, and stem cell differentiation. Ahmed Busnaina, the Director of the NSF Center for High-rate Nanomanufacturing, gave an overview of the Center's major research thrusts as well as their broad-reaching roadmap, which encompasses applications in areas from electronics to biotechnology. He described high rate, large area processes for directed assembly and transfer of carbon nanotubes and flow-guided assembly of nanoparticles. Robert Hwang, the Director of the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies at Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories also gave an overview of his Center's activities. Their major focus is nanomaterials integration and the issues that need to be addressed as length scales are crossed and devices are created. CINT is a user facility currently hosting over 400 researchers; their strengths lie in the areas of photonics, nanomanipulation, and nanofabrication. A showcase item is a set of discovery platform chips that provide a macro-nano interface platform for users to build custom experiments. 

In a session on Nanomanufacturing Applications General, speakers presented results wherein specific nanofabrication processes resulted in focused applications. Michelle Chen from Simmons College presented results of functionalized carbon nanotube sensors for chemical and biological detection. In this presentation, directed assembly of CNTs was utilized to form large area arrays of sensors comprising single CNTs between electrodes. She further discussed the utilization of specific functionality to the CNTs to achieve specificity in chemical sensing. Evin Gultepe from Northeastern University presented results from controlled drug release from large area nanoplatforms in which porous alumina and titania substrates were used to store and subsequently release drugs, ultimately for implantable drug release implementations. Yuri Gunko from the University of Dublin discussed the synthesis and characterisation of various chiral II-VI (CdS, CdSe and CdTe) semiconductor nanoparticles. Results illustrated that penicillamine stabilised CdS and CdSe nanoparticles, which have shown both very strong and very broad luminescence spectra, could find important applications as fluorescent assays and sensors (or probes) in asymmetric synthesis, catalysis, enantioseparation, biochemical analysis and medical diagnostics.

In a session on Advanced Tools and Processes for Nanomanufacturing III, speakers discussed block copolymer patterning technology, multi-fingered nanomanipulation devices, projection microstereolithography, and the fabrication of single nanowire devices. James Watkins, Director of the NSF Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing, discussed the use of self-assembled block copolymers in a range of process platforms, ranging from batch wafer processing to continuous roll-to-roll technologies for low cost per function devices. The scale-up of self-assembly methods is made viable using a commercially available block copolymer from BASF with a small molecule additive to assist microphase separation.  Laxman Saggere of the University of Illinois at Chicago described a four-fingered, coordinated MEMS nanomanipulation device that has the dexterity to grasp and manipulate single elements at the nanoscale. Chris Spadaccini of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory presented a potentially scalable stereolithography technique that uses a digital photomask to fabricate complex three-dimensional structures; this technique is being refined to generate precise nanoscale features on mesoscale components. This technique may enable the low cost, high throughput manufacturing of targets for fusion-based energy production. Brian Hansen of Boston University described a technique for fabricating and chip-mounting single copper oxide semiconducting nanowires devices for use as optical and gas sensors.   

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