Archive for the ‘Nanotech’ category

Laser-generated surface structures create extremely water-repellent metals

January 20, 2015

Super-hydrophobic properties could lead to applications in solar panels, sanitation and as rust-free metals

Scientists at the University of Rochester have used lasers to transform metals into extremely water repellent, or super-hydrophobic, materials without the need for temporary coatings.

Super-hydrophobic materials are desirable for a number of applications such as rust prevention, anti-icing, or even in sanitation uses. However, as Rochester’s Chunlei Guo explains, most current hydrophobic materials rely on chemical coatings.

In a paper published today in the Journal of Applied Physics, Guo and his colleague at the University’s Institute of Optics, Anatoliy Vorobyev, describe a powerful and precise laser-patterning technique that creates an intricate pattern of micro- and nanoscale structures to give the metals their new properties. This work builds on earlier research by the team in which they used a similar laser-patterning technique that turned metals black. Guo states that using this technique they can create multifunctional surfaces that are not only super-hydrophobic but also highly-absorbent optically…

http://www.rochester.edu/newscenter/superhydrophobic-metals-85592/

UNIVERSAL PHOTONICS ACQUIRES CV NANOTECHNOLOGY

December 15, 2014

Universal Photonics, manufacturer and distributor of critical surface preparation materials worldwide, has announced the asset acquisition of California based, CV Nanotechnology. The acquisition transfers the production, sale, and distribution of CV Nanotechnology’s full product line of polishing compounds and surface preparation materials to Universal Photonics.

“UPI continues to make commitments to the advancement of surfacing and polishing technology, and strives to bring the very best of these products to our customers. CV Nanotechnology has developed many advanced polishing materials that will significantly add to the product capability we offer. Their innovative products will be integral to our technology suite of advanced materials” says Neil Johnson, President and CEO of Universal Photonics.

“Our long history of combining unique technology with robust service and support networks has helped UPI meet the expectations of the critical surfacing industry. We are confident that CV Nanotechnology’s products will add value to our customers’ processes and efficiency.”

CV Nanotechnology’s founder, Floyd McClung, will join Universal Photonics and continue to support the development and application of advanced polishing materials.

Today’s surfacing applications involve a wide variety of substrates, many with unique processing requirements. The comprehensive approach to meeting these requirements calls for a broad technology of materials, and the CV Nanotechnology line of products brings additional capability to UPI’s established product offering.

CV Nanotechnology customers can be confident that Universal Photonics’ broad experience and manufacturing capabilities will continue to provide the same reliable, efficient and innovative benefits they have come to expect.

http://www.universalphotonics.com/Press/tabid/134/EntryId/13/UNIVERSAL-PHOTONICS-ACQUIRES-CV-NANOTECHNOLOGY-ADDING-A-UNIQUE-LINE-OF-POLISHING-AND-SUPER-FINISHING-MATERIALS-TO-ITS-COMPREHENSIVE-LINE-OF-POLISHING-COMPOUNDS.aspx

Toptica Positioned at the Center of the Optics Universe

November 30, 2014

Toptica has positioned itself at the center of the optics universe, with a Victor office that handles sales, support, service and light manufacturing for its North American clients and a president who holds physics and business degrees from both the University of Rochester and Rochester Institute of Technology.Toptica

“We have the best right here in Rochester,” President Mark Tolbert said. “The U of R is one of the optics hubs, and RIT is has a strong presence in technology. We provide scientists with the tools to do their work. Sixty percent of our business involves advanced research in university and government labs.”

http://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/money/business/2014/11/30/toptica-german-firm-center-optics-world/19604475/

Consortiums Compete for Establishment of Integrated Photonics Institute for Manufacturing Innovation

November 21, 2014

Funding Opportunity Announced

Through a Funding Opportunity Announcement  (FOA) made on Nov. 6, the U.S. Department of Defense is calling for concept papers for the establishment of an Integrated Photonics Institute for Manufacturing Innovation (IP-IMI).

The IP-IMI will be the largest federal investment to date under the Obama administration’s National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) at $110M. The IP-NMI does not include optics, optical systems or optical manufacturing. It does not include lasers at the manufacturing scale, optical materials or new systems for manufacturing critical DoD optical components. It is narrowly focused upon “domestic integrated photonics chip fabrication foundry access, integrated design tools, automated packaging, assembly and test, and workforce development.”

The FOA was made through the Air Force Research Laboratory, following President Barack Obama’s announcement of his administration’s intent to form the IP-IMI, the sixth such institute under the NNMI. The FOA reaffirms that commitment, with DoD investing $110 million, intended to be somehow matched or exceeded in investment  from industry, academia and/or state and local government through the winning proposal.

Read the White House fact sheet here.

A proposer’s day has been scheduled for Nov. 19  in Arlington, Va.

Proposers day, Artisphere Spectrum Theater, Arlington, VA

Proposers day, Artisphere Spectrum Theater, Arlington, Va.

New York Proposals

A National Institute for Manufacturing and Innovation in Photonics has been one of the main goals of the National Photonics Initiative (NPI).  Numerous lobbying efforts and a national fly-in have supported the NPI.   Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY 25) has been an enthusiastic advocate for a photonics institute led and located in Rochester, N.Y.

In Rochester, an NMI effort led by the University of Rochester has been under way for two years. The university has been working with key stakeholders across the U.S. to form a consortium to partner on an application. It is rumored that The College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at SUNY Albany (CNSE) is also working on an application.  Sources at the University of Rochester say that they have been engaged in brokered discussions with CNSE.

Other New York research interests might include names like Cornell University, RIT, Columbia University, Clarkson, University at Buffalo and others.  Industrial partners may include such names as Corning, GE, IBM, Global Foundries and Sematech.

Applications are due on Dec. 19.

Read the DoD Announcement here.

Recent New York Efforts

The last NMI award announcement was for an institute for power electronics.

CNSE led a consortium that applied for the Power Electronics NMI in late 2013. That Institute was awarded to a consortium based in North Carolina.  Undeterred, Gov. Andrew Cuomo later announced a New York State Power Electronics Institute under the CNSE umbrella, promising to create 500 jobs. The announcement was made in the same building where CNSE announced its Department of Energy Photovoltaics Consortium on July 17, 2013,  promising to create 100 jobs.

The competition for leadership in Optics, Photonics and Imaging seems to be paying off for New York State.

Photonics Technology Makes the Cut on New Request For Information

June 4, 2014

“If China shuts off the flow of glass, the United States will be out of drones in six months.”
– CEO of a critical components contractor to the DoD

It was anticipated and heavily lobbied for.  Does it look like anyone expected?

On Monday, June 2nd, the Department of the Air Force, through Air Force Material Command (Wright Patterson) issued a request for information (RFI) seeking input from Industry and Academia as part of an effort to select and scope the technology focus areas for future Institutes for Manufacturing Innovation (IMIs).

The NNMI program was announced by president Obama in 2012.  Unable to budget the money to fund the hallmark manufacturing initiative, the administration has turned to various DOD and government agencies to fund NMI’s on its behalf.  This is the first from Air Force Material Command.

Responses are due by July 14th.

Technology areas of focus:

  • Flexible Hybrid Electronics
  • Photonics
  • Engineered Nanomaterials
  • Fiber and Textiles
  • Electronic Packaging and Reliability
  • Aerospace Composites

Many of us are elated that photonics made the cut.  Hundreds of hours of work, lobbying and thousands of dollars in travel have resulted in Photonics being on the short list for this NMI.  What is not clear is if the White House and the DoD recognize the critical role that optics, photonics and imaging technologies play to our national security.  Interpretations will vary.

From the RFI:

The term “photonics” refers specifically to technologies for generating, transmitting, modulating, filtering, processing, switching, amplifying, attenuating and detecting light.  Photonics technologies encompass significant commercial industries and solutions for DoD unique applications.  The diverse photonics industry has a number of manufacturing approaches where a public-private investment could rapidly accelerate the technology availability from TRL 4 to TRL 6/7 and enable a sustainable industry for commercial and DoD needs.  A photonics IMI would address industrial base issues for photonics materials, such as infrared materials, nonlinear materials, low-dimensional materials, and engineered materials which are critical to our Nation’s photonics ecosystem (production, DoD, research, etc….).  A Photonics IMI could be structured to allow improvements in the cross-cutting disciplines of design, packaging, reliability and test to be applied across multiple technology topic areas leveraging common manufacturing approaches.  Preference could be given to technology topic areas that are in late stage research and development, that may require some design/foundry efforts, but the bulk of the efforts are in the packaging, reliability and test disciplines, increasing the probability that the technology will mature and transition to DoD weapon systems and/or commercial platforms in 3-5 years and enabling the institute to be self-sustaining in the 5-7 year timeframe.

Although much research and development on photonics has been done in the U.S., it has been primarily carried out by large corporations developing and using proprietary processes for application-driven designs.  Little coordination and cooperation has existed between companies.  As a result, U.S.-based photonics research and development is faced with several disadvantages:

    1. There is no common or generic component library or fabrication process.  There are almost as many technologies as photonics companies.
    2. For most potential new applications, the market is too small for payback of investments without cooperative development. 

Photonic technologies are commonly used in the high speed transmission of signals in telecommunications and high-performance information-processing systems.  In addition photonics technologies are used in high-performance information-processing systems and computing.  Finally photonic technologies are commonly used in sensors and imagers.

A lot of players around the country will be very busy crafting their responses in the next month.

 

The Death of Moore’s Law

April 1, 2014

This is what the death of Moore’s law looks like: EUV rollout slowed, 450mm wafers halted, and an uncertain path beyond 14nm

There have been a number of events over the past few weeks that collectively point to serious problems ahead for the semiconductor market and all the players in that space. While some companies will be impacted more than others, the news isn’t great for anyone. The entire economic structure that was supposed to support both Intel and the major foundries as they moved to next-generation manufacturing technologies, such as 450mm wafers, extreme ultraviolet lithography, and 20nm CMOS, is on the verge of coming apart.a-silicon-wafer-in-sand-maybe-640x353

 

http://www.extremetech.com/computing/178529-this-is-what-the-death-of-moores-law-looks-like-euv-paused-indefinitely-450mm-wafers-halted-and-no-path-beyond-14nm

Slaughter Advocates for Optics & Photonics Industry Institute with President Obama

March 21, 2014

Thursday March 20, 2014

Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (Representative New York’s 25th District) sent a letter to President Obama today strongly endorsing the concept of a national manufacturing institute in Optics and Photonics, and clearly stating her position that Rochester, New York plays a leadership role.  Congresswoman Slaughter Optics letter 03 20 14

The National Network for Manufacturing and Innovation was announced by president Obama two years ago.  The President proposed building a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI), consisting of regional hubs that will accelerate development and adoption of cutting-edge manufacturing technologies for making new, globally competitive products.

Concurrent with the President’s announcement was the release of Optics & Photonics: Essential Technologies For Our Nation, a report from the National Research Council highlighting the ubiquity of Optics and Photonics technologies in modern life and identifying key challenges for the United States moving forward.  The National Photonics Initiative driven by the report sponsors grew out of the report.

New York Photonics, the Rochester Regional Photonics Cluster and Congresswoman Slaughter have enthusiastically supported the National Photonics Initiative, making the National Research Council report and the National Photonics Initiative the focus of our Annual Meetings in 2012 and 2013.

A team from Rochester, including RRPC members, the University of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology, Monroe Community College and other stakeholders across the nation have been involved in planning for the possibility of a manufacturing institute in Optics and Photonics for two years.  The Center for Emerging and Innovative Sciences at the University of Rochester hosted an industry charrette, with broad participation from over 150 concerned industry and research representatives from around the country in December, 2012.

Vice President Biden, in Rochester on January 29th to discuss manufacturing initiatives in Monroe Community College, highlighted optics for nearly 30 minutes of his speech.  The next day, in Washington DC, Biden introduced Michael Mandina, President of Optimax System in Rochester to President Obama for conversations about manufacturing and the technical skills gap.

It is expected that President Obama will announce another National Manufacturing Institute within the next six months.

A snapshot of Rochester’s Optics, Photonics and Imaging Industry looks like this:

  • Over 75 OPI Companies, 17,000 employees
  • Over $3B in annual sales
  • 5% – 7% annual employment growth in OPI SME[1]’s < 500 people
  • Monroe Community College Optical System Technology Program, developing technicians for the optics and electro optics workforce
  • Responsible for educating 70% of the Optics PhD’s in the nation
  • 1 in 14 households supported by the industry
  • Home to the nation’s Laboratory for Laser Energetics
  • University of Rochester Institute of Optics
  • Rochester Institute of Technology Imaging Sciences and Microelectronics
  • Bi-Annual Navy SBIR (Small Business Innovation & Research) optics conference
  • OptiFab, the only optical fabrication conference in the U.S.
  • Responsible for generating a vast numbers of the nation’s patents in optics, photonics and imaging technologies.  #1 per capita in patents in the nation.  95% of OPI patent holders still live in Rochester
  • The most robust, sophisticated and highly integrated optics, photonics and imaging supply chain in the nation
  • Top suppliers and builders for machine manufacturing, metrology, nanotechnology, semiconductor, biomedical, consumer electronic, military / defense, laser, research, automotive, mapping, geospatial imaging, entertainment and other OPI products
  • Thorough integration with the nation’s prime and second-tier defense and aerospace contractors

[1] Small and medium-sized enterprises sometimes called SMB’s for small and medium-sized businesses