MNTL Hilights report web (Apr. 2016) - Page 5

The technologies being developed by the faculty and students who conduct their research in the Micro + Nanotechnology Lab (MNTL) have been essential to many important developments in our society—from high-speed optoelectronic devices that enable the Internet, to materials and structures that form the foundations of high-speed computation, to photonic nanostructures used in biosensors for medical diagnostics, to microelectromechanical transducers that form the basis for radio frequency filters. In nearly every case, these technologies required a cycle of incubation, iteration, and demonstration as we moved from understanding their fundamental properties to realizing their performance potential. While we publicize important breakthroughs in this 2014-15 MNTL highlights report, we know that each breakthrough actually took a great deal of effort over many months to convert a novel idea into a demonstrated reality. It takes even longer to turn these innovations into products. We engage with our faculty, students, alumni, and industry partners for the entire process. In fact, we are launching a new Industry Affiliates Program in 2016 to better facilitate our technical interactions, communication, and funding of our research with a broad range of companies. AS YOU READ OUR MNTL HIGHLIGHTS REPORT, YOU WILL NOTICE THAT OUR RESEARCH IS INCREASINGLY INTERDISCIPLINARY. FOR EXAMPLE, >> We recently established an Illinois Partnership for Vision Engineering that brings together MNTL scientists with clinical ophthalmologists and engineers at the University of Illinois in Chicago. This collaboration aims to solve grand challenges in the implementation of targeted nanoparticle drug delivery, sensor-integration with artificial corneas, and electronic-biological interfaces. >> While some of our faculty are working with colleagues who specialize in the circuits and systems that form the fabric of next-generation low power computation systems, others are working with specialists in infectious disease or cancer to develop point-of-care diagnostic tests. The possibilities are endless, as materials and structures we can create on the nanometer scale are the enablers of systems that manipulate photons, electrons, biomolecules, and cells. >> Some of our researchers are investigating a new semiconductor fabrication paradigm, where pulses of light catalyze electrochemical reactions that dope, etch, and metallize circuit patterns onto a semiconductor wafer with high resolution—m