NSF Highlights

Direct Printing of Crystalline Metal Oxide Device Structures
highlightA key challenge for printed and flexible devices is competing with the performance of inorganic devices produced using conventional wafer based fabrication tools. CHM researches have developed a new process that involves nanoimprint patterning of inks based on crystalline metal oxide nanoparticles and small amounts of sol-gel type metal oxide precursors. Pattern resolution of less than 250 nm is possible. Because the inks are comprised predominantly of crystalline materials, there is little shrinkage during post-patterning processing, including annealing up to 800 0C. The CHM is now working on pulse flash lamp cure technology to make the process compatible with thermally sensitive substrates and on transitioning the approach to roll-to-roll production.

Using NIL Masters for Roll-to-Roll Prototype Fabrication of Large Energy Product Ferromagnetic Arrays
highlightProof of concept research demonstrating the scalable production of large energy product (BH) ferromagnetic arrays using roll-to-roll nanoimprint lithography. Such materials and their derivitives could impact power applications, including motors, generators, and other devices. Presented at the 2013 Conference on Magnetism and Magnetic Materials

Test Strips for Bacterial Contamination of Drinking Water
highlightWe have developed test strip diagnostics for drinking water contamination. These strips use inexpensive iron oxide nanoparticles to detect bacteria, producing a colorimetric output that can be followed by eye. These test strips have been produced in a prototype R2R process, generating very inexpensive and reliable systems for bacteria detection. Current efforts are focused on lowering the limits of detection and real-world testing in the US and the developing world.

Imaging Nanoparticle Stability in Tissues
highlightTo more fully understand the potential toxicity of nanoparticles (NPs) that are exposed to organisms in the environment, it is essential to monitor the site-specific stability of NPs in vivo. CHM scientists have developed a combined imaging approach based on laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (LDI-MS) and laser ablation (LA) inductively-coupled plasma (ICP) MS to monitor whether core-shell NPs remain intact in tissues. LDI-MS images the shell material, while LA-ICP-MS images the core material. Localized signal from both indicates an intact NP. Results show that NPs remain intact in certain organs, such as the spleen, while are more quickly broken down in other organs, such as the liver.

Low-cost Microfluidic Detection of Pathogens
highlightThe Nugen Research Group has been developing rapid methods for the detection of pathogenic bacteria. The goal of the project is to produce a low-cost device which is able to perform complex reactions. The capillary-flow microfluidic device incorporated electrowetting valves and electrochemical detection. This allowed automated and timed reagent delivery during the reaction. The final device was able to electrochemically detect 1 x 105 bacteriophage which resulted from an initial 1 x 103 E. coli.

Roll-to-Roll Fabricated THz Sensors
highlightSignificant THz Applications: Medical Imaging - Cancer detection; Explosive detection; Astronomy; Non invasive - Security scanning in Airports; Large-scale integrated circuit testing; Information and communication technology wireless -40 Gbit/s; Weather monitoring. CHM Test Bed Results: Developed a new method for the production of low cost, sensitive, room temperature THz detectors on a R2R platform; Only suspended CNT devices registered THz detection; Detection sensitive to bias voltage and thickness of MWNT films; Fabrication processes are completely adaptable to R2R platform; Work envisions a potential merging of nanoimprint technologies and THz technologies for the scale up and advancement of emerging THz applications.

Materials and Processes for Flexible Devices and Electronics
highlightThe symposium was attended by more than 150 participants from academia, government and industry, with 50 companies and 10 academic institutions represented. Topics included: Nanoarchitecture control for photovoltaics (PVs); Material design & device engineering for polymer PVs; Roll-to-roll (R2R) nanomanufacturing processes for displays & Photovoltaics; Printed & hybrid flexible electronics; Polymeric semiconductors for printed opto-electronics; Conformal electronics for the human body; R2R nanoimprint lithography; Advances in electrophoretic display technology; Integration of high performance electronics into flexible packaging.

UMass Amherst Center for Personalized Health Monitoring and Biometric Sensors Utilizes CHM Process Platforms
highlightThe CPHM will include the $25,000,000 Center for Advanced Roll-to-Roll Manufacturing for the Life and Nano Sciences, an open access facility that will deploy leading edge technology and pilot tools for sensor systems, packaging and associated flexible electronics platforms and enhance University – Industry partnerships. This Center is built upon and has been enabled by advances in the CHM.

SciTech Café
highlightThe PIs founded SciTech Café, which held its inaugural event in September 2012, and meets about monthly at a local restaurant. PI Aidala led the June event, introducing nanotechnology to the audience of over one hundred people.

Nanotechnology Training for K12 Science Teachers at the NSEC Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing
highlightThe CHM conducted its seventh annual Nanotechnology Summer Institute for K12 science teachers at UMass Amherst, July 8-12, 2013. Twenty-seven teachers learned from an array of nanotechnology modules with many hands-on activities for the classroom, including module on self assembly, constructing an model atomic for microscope, creating a nanofilm, and more. http://www.umassk12.net/nano/

“Informatics for Nanomanufacturing” Workshop: October 15, 2013
highlightThe National Nanomanufacturing Network (NNN) coordinated a workshop convening participants from industry, academia and government to discuss the utilization of informatics in nanomanufacturing. This workshop helped to identify compelling data and tools, factors that make data useful and searchable, strategies for sharing data, mapping terminologies and ontologies and mechanisms for strong industry involvement in the nanoinformatics effort. Held in Philadephia PA at the University of Pennsylvania.