AUSTIN, Texas—The Microelectronics Research Center at The University of Texas at Austin will receive $4 million over five years as a newly selected member of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN).
NNIN is designed to create a flexible infrastructure of nanotechnology resources available to academia and industry. As part of this infrastructure, the Microelectronics Research Center will become available to researchers nationwide. The funds will support infrastructure costs, such as technicians and staff who run and maintain equipment and the training of students and new users.
“The idea behind the NNIN is that some of these bigger schools that have strong microelectronics programs and clean rooms, such as we have, would be made national centers accessible to anyone in the country. They could use the resources to fabricate microelectronic devices, and nanostructures for a fee,” says Dr. Sanjay Banerjee, director of the center and professor of electrical and computer engineering.
The other universities selected to form the network were Cornell University, Stanford University, the University of California at Santa Barbara, Howard University, the University of Michigan, the University of Minnesota, the University of New Mexico, the University of Washington, Georgia Institute of Technology and Harvard University.
The new network will replace the National Nanotechnology Users Network, an NSF-funded group that will dissolve at the end of 2003. The success of facilities under the previous network, initiated in 1994 and consisting of five members, prompted the National Science Foundation to expand the initiative in hopes of boosting the burgeoning nanotechnology industry.
Banerjee says selection as a network member affords benefits to the university that can potentially spread beyond the need for funding.
“More than the money, I think it’s very important because it increases the visibility of UT Austin as a national player in microelectronics and nanotechnology,” he says.
Banerjee’s research and teaching are supported by funds from the Cockrell Family Regents Chair in Engineering #4.
For more information contact: Becky Rische, College of Engineering, 512-471-7272.