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The Nanoscope: Big News in Small Science
IEN News

2017-2018 Georgia Tech Institute for Electronics and Nanotechnology (IEN)

Core Facilities Seed Grant Program
Information and Request for Applications

Program Description

The Georgia Tech IEN is an Interdisciplinary Research Institute (IRI) comprised of faculty and students interested in using the most advanced fabrication and characterization tools, and cleanroom infrastructure, to facilitate research in micro- and nano-scale materials, devices, and systems. Applications of this research span all disciplines in science and engineering with particular emphasis on biomedicine, electronics, optoelectronics and photonics, and energy applications. As there can be a learning curve associated with initial proof-of-concept development and testing using cleanroom tools, this seed grant program was developed to expedite the initiation of new graduate students and new research projects into productive activity. Successful proposals to this program will identify a new, currently-unfunded research idea that requires core facility access to generate preliminary data necessary to pursue other funding avenues.

Program Eligibility

Georgia Tech Applicants

This program is open to any current Georgia Tech or GTRI faculty member as project PI. The graduate student performing the research should be in the first 2 years of his/her graduate studies, and preference will be given to students who are new users of the IEN facilities. The student’s research advisor (project PI) does not need to be a current user of the IEN cleanroom/lab facilities.

External (non-Georgia Tech) Applicants

Funding from the NSF to create the Southeastern Nanotechnology Infrastructure Corridor (SENIC, as part of the NNCI has allowed IEN to open this program to external (not affiliated with Georgia Tech) users currently at an academic institution in the southeastern US. The graduate student performing the proposed research cannot be a current user of the IEN facilities. The student’s research advisor (project PI) may have a current project in place for use of the IEN cleanroom/lab facilities, but this is not a requirement. If awarded, a specialized service agreement will need to be arranged with the user’s home institution.

Past awardees of a seed grant may submit additional proposals for different students/projects, but not in consecutive funding cycles. It is the responsibility of the project PI and student to determine their ability to make use of the awarded time during the grant period. Extensions requested once the project has begun will not be granted.

Award Information

Each seed grant award will consist of free cleanroom access to the student identified in the proposal for 2 (consecutive) billing quarters. Based on current access rates and the academic cap on hourly charges (, this comprises a maximum award of $6000 for the 6 month period. This maximum award amount is still in effect even if IEN non-cleanroom (lab) equipment, electron beam lithography (EBL), or tools in the Materials Characterization Facility (MCF) are required. The designated student user is expected to only utilize the cleanroom/tool access while working with the PI on the proposed project. Members of the IEN processing staff will be available to consult during the project period. The number of awards for each proposal submission date will depend on the number and quality of the proposals. A short report describing the research activities is required midway and at the completion of the award period.

Submission Schedule

This Seed Grant program is offered in two competitions each year with due dates on October 1, 2017 and April 1, 2018. While it is expected that research activity will begin on December 1, 2017 and June 1, 2018, respectively, there is flexibility in scheduling the 2 quarters of research work, as long as they conform to the IEN billing quarters.

Proposal Requirements (2 pages max)

The proposal (submitted as a PDF file of no more than 2 pages) should do the following:
1. Provide a project title. List name of PI and student at the top of the proposal.
2. Identify the research problem and specify the proposed methods.
3. Indicate the IEN research tools necessary to conduct the research. If assistance is needed with this component, staff members of the IEN are available for consultation.
4. Describe the relationship of this research to the PI’s other research activity.
5. Identify the PI and the graduate student involved (including year of graduate work), and if there will be a mentoring relationship with the PI’s other students. Note if there are collaborative relationships with Georgia Tech faculty that bear on this research project.
6. Specify the potential for follow-on funding based on the results of this initial work.

Submit the PDF file by the specified due date to Ms. Amy Duke (

Review Criteria

Proposals will initially be reviewed by IEN staff for technical feasibility within the 6-month time frame. Rating of proposals will be done by a review committee of Georgia Tech faculty, with final selection of awardees by IEN staff. Review criteria include novelty of the research, clarity of the proposed work, work that is technically achievablewithin the time constraints, and likelihood of positive outcomes (funding).

For more information, please contact Dr. David Gottfried,,
(404) 894-0479.

Sitaraman Named NextFlex Fellow

Professor Suresh Sitaraman (GT- ME) was one of six individuals selected for the award to recognize leaders in academia and industry who are at the forefront of the flexible hybrid electronics (FHE) mission. The awards were distributed at this year’s FLEX conference in February. The winners were hand-selected by NextFlex for their work in advancing the use of FHE in manufacturing, research, government, education and military applications, as well as workforce development.

Read the press from NextFlex here.

Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering (JMM) Highlights Abbaspour's Research

A paper by Reza Abbaspour is featured as one of the highlights for 2017 in the Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering (JMM). Abbaspour is a Ph.D. student in the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE). The paper was co-authored with IEN's Devin Brown.

For the first time in this research paper, Abbaspour presents a sub-micron diameter TSV technology that allows for very fine-grain 3D integrated circuits (ICs). To address the challenges in scaling TSVs, novel fabrication techniques including scallop-free low roughness nano-Bosch process and direct copper electroplating on a titanium-nitride diffusion barrier layer have been developed as key enabling modules for this technology.

Read More Here.

Cleanroom Corner

Heidelberg Instruments MLA150 – Maskless Aligner
The IEN inorganic cleanroom houses the brand new Heidelberg MLA150-Maskless Aligner. The MLA150 combines easy usability, high alignment accuracy, and fast speed to provide the perfect maskless lithography solution. It offers all the capabilities that are required for single layer and multi-layer applications for areas up to 150 mm.

The MLA150 Maskless Aligner will provide and expose your layout directly to accelerate your work in the areas oLife ScienceMEMSMicro-OpticsSemiconductor, Sensors, Actuators, MOEMS, Material Research, Nano-Tubes, Graphene, and any other application that requires microstructures.

For Training or Process Questions Contact Hang Chen at
Career News

Postdoctoral opening starting March 1st 2018 at the Winship Cancer Institute, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA to investigate the metabolic basis of drug resistance in hematologic malignancies/Multiple Myeloma. We have a second area of interest investigating metabolism-driven signaling promoting lung adenocarcinoma invasion.

Candidates should be independent and highly motivated with a strong molecular, cellular and biochemistry background. Our mechanistic and highly translational studies rely in part on the development and testing of novel therapeutics in patient samples and in vivo models.

Candidates must have a Ph.D., peer reviewed first author publication history and excellent verbal and written communication skills. Interested applicants should submit their CV, a brief statement detailing their research experience, skills, and postdoctoral goals. Please provide contact information (email address and phone number) for three references to: Dr. Mala Shanmugam,

Please visit our website at and job posting at

Professional Development

IEN Short Course: Microfabrication

March 19-21, 2018 | Marcus Nanotechnology Building

The Institute for Electronics and Nanotechnology (IEN) at Georgia Tech will offer a short course on micro-fabrication from March 19 - 21, 2018. This in­tensive 3 day short course combines classroom lectures and laboratory based hands-on fabrication in the IEN cleanroom. The goal of the course is to impart a basic understanding of the science and technology of micro-fabrication processes as used in academia and industry.

This short course will cover essential micro-fabrication techniques including, photolithography, thin film deposition, etching, packaging, and characterization. Attendees will gain valuable experience by fabricating simple devices in one of the most advanced university cleanrooms in North America.

Target Audience

Attendance is open to the general technical community and is not limited to current Georgia Tech students or IEN users. Anyone interested in cleanroom fabrication techniques is strongly encouraged to attend this course. The course is suitable for both new and experienced researchers interested in micro-fabrication techniques and applications.

A course emphasis will be placed on IEN cleanroom resources, however, the concepts and techniques discussed are applicable to a broad array of research in this field.

Rates: *Rates include lunches on all days*

  • Georgia Tech Rate: $200
  • Academic and Government Rate: $400
  • Industry Rate: $800

IEN Short Course: Soft Lithography for Microfluidics

April 26-27, 2018 | Marcus Nanotechnology Building

The Institute for Electronics and Nanotechnology (IEN) at Georgia Tech will offer a short course on “Soft Lithography for Microfluidics” on April 26 & 27, 2018. This course module is designed for individuals interested in hands-on training in the fabrication of microfluidic devices using the soft lithography technique.

This 2 day intensive short course will be structured to assume no prior knowledge of the technologies by the participants. The course agenda is evenly divided between laboratory hands-on sessions, including SU-8 master mold creation using photolithography and PDMS device fabrication in the IEN cleanroom, and supporting lectures. The goal for this course is to impart a basic understanding of soft lithography for microfluidic applications as practiced in academia and industry.

Target Audience
This short course is open to off-campus researchers from academia, industry and government laboratories/organizations and is not limited to current Georgia Tech students or IEN users. Anyone who is interested in starting research in the area of microfluidics or PDMS device fabrication is invited and strongly encouraged to participate.

Rates: *Rates include lunches on all days*
Georgia Tech Rate: $150
Academic and Government Rate: $300
Industry Rate: $600

Nanotechnology Events
Nano@Tech: Microfluidic Circuits and Biomedical Applications
Tuesday March 13, 2018 @ 12PM
Marcus Nanotech - 1117

Full abstract and bio here.

Nano@Tech: Richard Barke, Public Policy, Georgia Tech
Tuesday March 27, 2018 @ 12PM
Marcus Nanotech - 1117

Nano@Tech: Suren Chavan, Vicapsys
Tuesday April 10, 2018 @ 12PM
Marcus Nanotech - 1117

Nano@Tech: Dragomir Davidovic, Physics, Georgia Tech
Tuesday April 24, 2018 @ 12PM
Marcus Nanotech - 1117
Nanovation Podcast With Professor Michael Filler -
Matt McDowell: Fancy Latin words

Matt McDowell is an expert in electrochemical materials and devices. On this episode, we talk about everything batteries — how they work, the state-of-the-art, what still needs to be improved, and what options are on the table for future technologies. We also discuss Matt and his students’ use of in situ experiments — those able to make measurements of a device while it is operating — and how they use this capability to understand the atomic scale details that govern battery performance and failure. We also ponder if batteries will ever be used as the main source of energy in airplanes and, if so, what it will take to get there. (Recorded on February 1, 2018. Edited by Andrew Cannon)

Listen to the podcast, and check out the archives, here!
Campus Events
Printing in the Third Dimension - A Lecture with Charles E. Bauer, Ph.D.
March 8, 2018 @ 6PM
Manufacturing Related Disciplines Center
Learn more & RSVP Here

"Why Do We Look Up at the Heavens?" — Br. Guy Consolmagno, Director of the Vatican Observatory, Rome
Thursday April 12, 2018 @ 7PM
TSRB Auditorium

Full Abstract and Bio Here
Copyright © 2018 Georgia Tech Institute for Electronics and Nanotechnology
All rights reserved.

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Institute for Electronics and Nanotechnology
Georgia Institute for Technology

Marcus Nanotechnology Building
345 Ferst Drive | Atlanta GA | 30332

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