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Abstract: AIM Photonics today announced the integrated silicon photonics Process Design Kit (PDK) is now available to all those organizations that have executed membership agreements. The achievement of this important milestone resulted from a project led by SUNY Polytechnic Institute, encompassing a significant effort by Analog Photonics, to create a library of photonic components designed to work within the SUNY Poly silicon photonics process. The PDK will enable AIM Photonics members to access leading edge silicon photonics technology to generate their own piece of real estate on the up-coming Multi Project Wafer (MPW) run. AIM CEO and SUNY Poly Executive Vice President of Innovation and Technology Dr. Michael Liehr said, “We are excited to offer these benefits to AIM members after just one year of operation and look forward to providing many other ground breaking photonics capabilities to the broader photonics community in the coming months and years, thereby fulfilling our charter as a member of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation.” The PDK and the MPW capability are tangible examples of the benefits afforded to Members of AIM Photonics. Our Members are provided access to cutting edge research and state-of-the-art fabrication, packaging, design, and testing capabilities and enjoy the significant cost savings associated with consortium activities. In addition to the typical custom layout information needed to create custom photonic devices, the PDK also includes a significant amount of intellectual property in the high performance library of fundamental silicon photonic passive and active devices developed by Analog Photonics, LLC. “These library components can be quickly instantiated at a schematic level to create sophisticated system level designs in a short amount of time. We believe the capabilities of this library will enable next generation photonic circuits to be developed quickly and reliably,” said Analog Photonics’ CEO Mike Watts. “This kind of system-level design methodology is beginning to be supported by leading electronic-photonic design automation (EPDA) companies and is critical for enabling large-scale integrated photonic designs with lower cost and schedule,” said Brett Attaway, AIM Photonics’ Director of EPDA. “We could not have completed this initial release of the PDK without the strong support of our world-leading AIM member EPDA companies. It’s extremely important that we enable the next generation of integrated photonic design methodologies, and our EPDA member companies are enabling us to do that and help grow the industry with this PDK release.” Future releases of the PDK are planned over the next several years with improved validation data, models and new components added to the library. AIM Photonics is planning to have several MPW fab runs in 2017, depending on demand, which may include up to three MPWs for the full silicon photonics process, and two MPWs with a reduced process for passive-only devices and three MPWs for interposers as demand requires. The first full silicon and interposer MPW runs in 2017 will start towards the end of the first quarter. In order to ensure space for all interested parties, AIM Photonics is currently accepting reservations for these MPW runs. Those interested in participating in any of the 2017 MPW silicon photonics runs should contact Chandra Cotter at by October 31, 2016, in order to guarantee a spot on these exciting new silicon photonics offerings. Interested parties can also sign up for the 2017 runs by visiting our website at the following link: www.aimphotonics.com/multiproject-wafer-mpw/ PDK and MPW fab access occurs solely through a MPW aggregator. The MOSIS Service has been chosen as the AIM Photonics MPW aggregator. Please contact MOSIS for access to the most current PDK version release at the following link: www.mosis.com/vendors/view/AIM If you have a comment, please us. Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Agency: National Science Foundation | Branch: | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 225.00K | Year: 2015

The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) project will be the development of a testing system that will facilitate glaucoma drug development in a more cost-effective manner. This will enable better treatment of glaucoma and ultimately prevention of vision loss. This work will overcome a major limiting factor for glaucoma drug discovery, and provide scientists and doctors with a unique tool to understand the physiology of the human eye as related to glaucoma. Commercially, this project will allow for high-throughput testing of new glaucoma therapies, making this technology highly desirable to the pharmaceutical industry. Longer term, this technology has the potential to provide a healthy transplantable tissue that can cure glaucoma. This STTR Phase I project proposes to address the lack of effective in vitro model for testing targeted glaucoma therapies. This work will be the first-of-its-kind, exploring the feasibility to bioengineer a physiologically-relevant 3D human trabecular outflow tract utilizing co-culture and cell differentiation methods along with microfabrication techniques. It is based on the development of a custom-built system that will incorporate the bioengineered tissue into a platform that mimics the flow of aqueous humor and pressure changes in the human eye. At the conclusion of this project, it is anticipated that the bioengineered tissue will behave similarly to its in vivo counterpart, and be usable as higher throughput testing platform for drugs affecting the outflow physiology of the human trabecular outflow tract. In addition, this project will lead to a platform that could be used by other scientists to study and understand the biology of the human trabecular outflow tract.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: INSTRUMENTAT & INSTRUMENT DEVP | Award Amount: 399.69K | Year: 2015

An award is made to the University at Albany (SUNY) and several collaborating organizations, including two other SUNY campuses (SUNY Polytechnic Institute and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry) and Boston University, to construct and test an aphid-like nanobiosensor whose purpose is to enable real-time monitoring of sugars in living plant tissues. Graduate and undergraduate students will participate in the development of NANAPHID technology. The results obtained in the process of NANAPHID development will be disseminated to the community through lectures, student laboratory exercises and field trips. The project will include a unique Website used to broadcast webinars addressing NANAPHID design, its capabilities, and the latest research results. The NANAPHID will make routine measurements of sugars that will benefit many biological research communities including plant ecologists, investigators at NSF-funded Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) sites, and scientists involved in a broad range of experimental and modelling studies of terrestrial carbon cycling. Applications in crop plant research and management are also promising. For example, the sensor has the potential to replace refractometry as the method of choice for volumetric analysis of sugars.

Non-structural carbohydrates (NSCs) are the currency of energy and growth allocation within plants. These products of photosynthesis are circulated as soluble sugars, whose concentrations are estimated using destructive analytical techniques that have difficulties distinguishing sugars in plant sap from associated cellular materials that get mixed into samples. NANAPHID technology will make real-time in situ measurements of NSC using concentrations in stems, roots, and branches and provide biologists with many new opportunities to monitor critical changes in resource allocation in plants. Tracking these changes in living plants is necessary for directly testing the effect of many environmental changes such as climate, diseases, atmospheric nutrient loads, and acidic deposition.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 300.00K | Year: 2014

Since the discovery of graphene about ten years ago, atomically-thin nanosheets of different electronic nature have become the focal point for the research community. These nanosheets could be semiconducting, insulating, or semi-metallic, and potentially useful as the basic building-blocks for the next-generation nano-scale manufacturing. This award will address several known challenges in todays semiconductor microfabrication. Research will involve studies of super thin-film implementation, atomic-scale control, self-limiting assembly, and heterogeneous integration. The concept of layer-based smart nanomanufacturing allows for flexible integration of different nanomaterials. The research work will close the gap between science-driven research in nanomaterials and commercial applications. In a broader view, the fabrication strategy could be extended to a large family of two-dimensional and three-dimensional nanostructures. The resulting material systems will potentially impact a variety of areas, including flexible electronics, solar cells, optoelectronics, sensors, and multifunctional integration via innovative engineering. This work will open unique opportunities for students to acquire interdisciplinary research experience in material science, physics, devices, and nanofabrication, creating great synergy in research and learning. The dissemination of scientific discoveries and its inclusion in curriculum development in undergraduate, graduate, and professional education would ensure broad impacts to scientific, educational, and the general public.

The research explores two-dimensional van der Waals functional heterostructures and nano-device technology via a layer-by-layer assembly-based material processing strategy, aimed at establishing a versatile, leap-forward nanofabrication platform that circumvents the well-known issues in the traditional thin-film based fabrication. The research is composed of two tasks: (i) Exploring fundamental behavior of two-dimensional heterostructures made by nanosheets of different nature and discovering key guidelines and pathway towards atomic layer based nanofabrication. (ii) Demonstrating two-dimensional heterostructure field-effect transistor on the material platform and studying the critical design issues including scalability, manufacturability, and reliability. The research aims to acquire in-depth understanding from both scientific and engineering perspective towards developing layer-by-layer assembly-enabled, smart manufacturing strategy potentially applicable to a broad range of nanoscale devices and components, supported by the state-of-the-art nanofab facilities at the University.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: CDS&E-MSS | Award Amount: 93.11K | Year: 2016

Objects whose state changes over time, known as dynamical systems, describe a large number of natural and engineered processes; therefore, developing a deeper understanding of their behavior is of great importance. While sometimes it is possible to derive mathematical models that describe the evolution of a dynamical system, these models are almost always an abstraction of the physical system and, therefore, have a limited ability to predict how the system will change in time. Further, when the system under investigation is large or too complicated with several factors influencing its behavior, it may simply be impossible to describe the system with the corresponding descriptive equations. Consequently, in the absence of adequate analytical models it becomes necessary to instrument the dynamical system with sensors and use the resulting data to understand its characteristics. Specifically, the change in the state of a dynamic system is often governed by an underlying skeleton that gives the overall behavior a shape, and thus the shape of the skeleton directly governs the system behavior. Most of the time, this shape of the underlying skeleton is unknown and can be easily masked by the complicated and rich system signals. The emergent field of topological data analysis (TDA), a branch of mathematics that quantifies the shape of data, is capable of revealing information that is invisible to other existing methods by providing a high level X-ray of the skeleton governing the dynamics. However, the information-rich structures provided by TDA still need to be interpreted in order to classify the dynamics and predict future outcomes. To accomplish this, the principal investigators will leverage ideas from machine learning, a field of study that investigates algorithms that can learn from the data and use the acquired knowledge for classification and prediction. However, the mathematical theory that elucidates how machine learning can operate on the features extracted using TDA currently does not exist. Hence, this work will develop the necessary, novel mathematical and computational tools at the intersection of topological data analysis (TDA), dynamical systems, and machine learning.

The principal investigators seek to understand and formulate the foundations of machine learning when the important features of a dynamical system are summarized by descriptors generated with topological data analysis (TDA). Although these signatures provide an information-rich structure for the evolution of the dynamics, current literature has only been utilizing a fraction of the available information in order to identify, predict, and classify different dynamic behavior. One of the current impediments to further exploring the relationship between TDA and dynamical systems is the lack of machine learning theory that can operate on these structures. Therefore, the success of our effort will lead to (1) the establishment of a novel, general, and robust machine learning framework for studying dynamic signals via topological signatures, (2) better understanding of the relationship between TDA and dynamical systems via the use of these methods on real and synthetic data, and (3) the integration of the new knowledge into the investigators educational programs, which will provide timely training of well-equipped next generation scientists and engineers.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ELECT, PHOTONICS, & MAG DEVICE | Award Amount: 380.00K | Year: 2016

Transistor scaling, best embodied in Moores law, has enabled the unprecedented advancement in computing technologies over the past quarter century. Scaling, however, is expected to slow down significantly due to fundamental limitations. In response, new materials are sought that can continue the historical rate of scaling. Transition metal dichalcogenide semiconductors are promising new channel materials because they are naturally thin. Thinning of the channel is one of the most important recent developments in the manufacturing of advanced semiconductor devices that help to achieve better electrostatic control. To that end, the dichalcogenide systems are expected to provide the thinnest semiconducting channel material, surpassing the limit that can be achieved in bulk semiconductors. In the proposed research, students and researchers will fabricate devices in the dichalcogenide systems. The principal investigator will train both graduate, undergraduate, and high school students, particularly those underrepresented in science, to fabricate and characterize semiconductor devices. These devices will be used as hands-on learning tools in the courses offered at the university. Also, the principal investigator will work with at-risk urban youth from Albany, Troy, Schenectady, and Newburgh to educate them on the growing opportunities in the regional semiconductor industry. The principal investigator will also work with staff to host two one-day summer workshops for secondary school teachers on classroom integration of nanoelectronics modules developed under the proposed middle school/high school outreach efforts.

New materials and device concepts are needed to continue the historical increase in functionality of computing devices. In the proposed research, a reconfigurable device will be developed that can morph into the three most fundamental devices. These devices are p-n diode, metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor, and bipolar junction transistor. Using these devices, the principal investigator will demonstrate basic logic functions with fewer transistors. These research thrusts are possible in the recently discovered transition metal dichalcogenide semiconductors because they are naturally thin, which is particularly suited for implementing the gating technique pioneered by the group. Because a single device can accomplish all three device functions, the proposed research can uniquely provide fundamental linkages between material properties and device performance that would be difficult to attain had the devices were fabricated individually. This research will use the state-of-the-art 300mm fabrication facility located at the university to fabricate highly scaled devices. It will train students on the challenges of device integration and to the opportunities such an advanced fabrication facility provides. At the fundamental level, this research will provide a unique insight into how the three devices are intimately linked. These devices can achieve rectification, switching, and current amplification, respectively. This research will measure the key figure-of-merit of each device and provide linkages to material properties, including the interface trap states. With reduced dimensions, many-body effects become important. Although many-body effects are not needed to understand the properties of modern transistors, their role will become significant as transistors continue to shrink. The proposed research will help to inform the semiconductor manufacturers to the importance of many-body effects by measuring the excitonic properties and the band gap, which can renormalize when the semiconductor is doped. The results of this research will be disseminated to the growing number of semiconductor companies that are co-located at the university.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: CRII CISE Research Initiation | Award Amount: 174.86K | Year: 2016

This project develops a comprehensive proof construction and verification framework for a well-defined class of cryptographic protocols: attribute-based cryptosystems. In particular, existing automated proof construction and verification frameworks, such as EasyCrypt and CryptoVerif, are extended to provide support for attribute-based cryptography. The extensions consist of libraries of simple transformations, algebraic manipulations, commonly used abstractions and constructs, and proof strategies, which will help in generation and verification of proofs in attribute-based cryptography. Additionally, the investigator seeks to understand the limitations, if any, on the development of verification tools for attribute-based cryptosystems.

The project builds upon and expands the scope of the toolset to include other classes of cryptographic protocols, such as identity-based cryptosystems, and non-interactive zero-knowledge proofs, which share the same underlying mathematical assumptions and constructs. All code and modules produced from this peoject will be compatible with existing proof verification tools. Educational activities are an integral part of this project. This project provides undergraduate and masters-level students an introduction to, and an opportunity to work on an advanced area in cryptography, and provide an opportunity to work with state-of-the-art model-checkers, and proof assistants.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Exploiting Parallel&Scalabilty | Award Amount: 84.90K | Year: 2014

The transistor density of integrated circuits has been doubling approximately every two years for about four decades. This exponential rise in the computational power of the integrated circuit has driven the information technology revolution that has transformed every aspect of our society - from personal entertainment devices to high-assurance intelligent cyber-physical systems. However, the growth in transistor density is now slowing down, and new technological breakthroughs are urgently needed to sustain the ongoing information technology revolution.

This project creates a new memristor-based nano-computing architecture that circumvents the fabrication density problems associated with traditional transistor-based integrated circuits. The project investigates the fundamental principles of memristor-based nano-computing and designs efficient memristor-based nano-crossbar circuits that can execute elementary bit-vector mathematical and logical computations. The project pursues a transformative agenda for next-generation extreme-scale computing involving two design principles: (1) the use of memristors as distributed asynchronous digital switches and continuous-valued non-volatile nano-stores of input data and intermediate results, and (2) the use of sneak-paths in nano-crossbars as fundamental computational primitives that pool together results of intermediate computations from distributed memristor nano-stores.

The memristor-based nano-computing architecture developed in the project will enable the execution of legacy programs on low-energy ultra-dense memristive nano-crossbar circuits and will facilitate the design of domain-specific parallel execution engines that combine storage and computation on the same chip - thereby nullifying the traditional barrier between the memory and the microprocessor.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: MAJOR RESEARCH INSTRUMENTATION | Award Amount: 380.07K | Year: 2015

This Major Research Instrumentation award supports instrument development at State University of New York Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Polytechnic Institute). The successful completion of the project will help advance the fundamental research on quantum information engineering and quantum computers, by directly providing 9 research groups (with about 7 postdoctoral fellows and 23 graduate students) from 5 universities in the northeast region, with the needed research capability for nanodevice fabrication. Such deterministic nano-implant capability is not available in an industrial setting, and thus the instrument can also benefit the semiconductor industry in its efforts toward new generations of semiconductor devices. In addition, the project will provide grounds for training a postdoctoral researcher involved in the instrument development toward the future nanotechnology instrumentalist. The project will also offer live research examples and lab demos in teaching of 3 undergraduate nano-engineering courses, as well as hands-on research experience for 4 undergraduate students from scientifically underrepresented groups.

As the transistor feature size is approaching the physical limit, novel computing paradigms using single atomic-like defects or single dopant atoms in solids, are being considered for the future information technology. The creation of novel quantum device structures like nano-arrays of a single nitrogen-vacancy defect center in diamond or single dopant atom in silicon, requires an accurate control of the number of defects/dopant atoms at each desired nanometer scale location. This is impossible with currently existing ion implantation tools that are used for defect generation and atomic doping in solids. The novelties of the instrument design include: (1) the use of a nanoscale polymer scintillator for tagging the position of single ion implants (2) the coincidence detection of scintillation photons and secondary electrons to ensure the accuracy/reliability for single ion implants, and (3) the integration of the instrument with an existing accelerator to offer a large range of implantation energies, ion species and excellent isotope separation capabilities. The acquired knowledge and experience would also be very helpful for developing other ion beam based instruments/techniques for probing and processing of nanoscale materials, and the findings and results will be disseminated to the research community through conferences, journal publications and the Internet.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: ADVANCED TECH EDUCATION PROG | Award Amount: 2.32M | Year: 2015

Nanotechnology and semiconductor manufacturing industries are undergoing continued expansion in the Northeast. An example of this expansion is the recent announcement by New York Governor Cuomo that six leading global technology companies are investing $1.5 billion to develop Nano Utica, the states second major hub of nanotechnology research and development, spearheaded by the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) and the State University of New York Institute of Technology (SUNYIT), creating over 1,000 new high-tech jobs. A highly qualified technical workforce is needed to continue to support the growth of the nanotechnology and semiconductor manufacturing industries in New York State and Western New England.

The Northeast Advanced Technological Education Center (NEATEC) will support the industry workforce needs. NEATEC partners include GlobalFoundries, IBM, General Electric, SEMATECH, Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), CNSE, SUNYIT, Mohawk Valley Community College (MVCC), Fulton Montgomery Community College (FMCC), SUNY Adirondack, regional K-12, and additional community colleges in NY, VT, MA, and CT.

NEATEC will implement and enable (1) the expansion of cutting-edge semiconductor and nanotechnology related AAS/AS degree programs among its community college partners, (2) on-the-job co-op and internship-based training, (3) distance learning options and just-in-time education, (4) K-12 career pathway development, (5) the coordination of student recruitment, and (6) research studies on emerging workforce trends and education needs. The Center will improve community college student learning in science and engineering by providing a broader range of students access to the educational materials, facilities and faculty of several premier U.S. science and engineering schools.

The evaluation and assessment plans will inform the wider community about the effectiveness of materials developed in educating a qualified entry-level technical workforce, the knowledge transfer from the center to partner institutions, the performance of program graduates in the field, and the value of the collaborative partnerships established.

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