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The Nanoscope: Big News in Small Science
IEN News

The Institute for Electronics and Nanotechnology at Georgia Tech has announced the winners for the 2016 Fall Seed Grant Awards. The primary purpose of the IEN Seed Grant is to give first or second year graduate students in various disciplines working on original and un-funded research in micro- and nano-scale projects the opportunity to access the most advanced academic cleanroom space in the Southeast. In addition to accessing the high-level fabrication, lithography, and characterization tools in the labs, the students will have the opportunity to gain proficiency in cleanroom and tool methodology and to use the consultation services provided by research staff members of the IEN Advanced Technology Team.  In addition, the Seed Grant program gives faculty with novel research topics the ability to develop preliminary data in order to pursue follow-up funding sources.

Beginning in 2016, after several successful years of the program, the IEN seed grant application was extended include non-Georgia Tech students and PI’s for award consideration. This award session is the first in which an off-campus research project was chosen for inclusion.

The 5 winning projects, from a diverse group of engineering disciplines, were awarded a six-month block of IEN cleanroom and lab access time. In keeping with the interdisciplinary mission of IEN, the projects that will be enabled by the grants include research in materials, biomedicine, energy production, and microelectronics packaging applications.
  • Francisco Quintero Cortes (PI Matthew McDowell, Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science and Engineering), Controlling Interfaces in Ceramic Ion Conductors for Next-Generation Lithium Batteries
  • Blaine Costello (PI Jeff Davis, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering), Dielectric Interfacial Capacitive Energy Storage (DICES) Experiments
  • Connor Howe (PI W. Hong Yeo, Virginia Commonwealth Univ. – School of Engineering and Medicine), Microstructured Flow Sensing System Integrated with a Thin Film Nitonol Stent
  • Aravindh Rajan & Patrick Creamer (PI Shannon Yee, Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering), Creating Thermionic Devices and Thermal Rectifiers
  • Alexandra Tsoras (PI Julie Champion, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering), Engineering S-layer Autotransporter Protein Nanoparticles for Rickettsia Applications

Awardees will present the results of their research efforts at the annual IEN User Day in 2017.

For more information about IEN cleanroom facilities, research capabilities, and collaboration opportunities please visit

The Georgia Tech team, which includes polymer chemists, package processing and reliability experts, is developing higher temperature molding compounds with higher thermal stability stability, higher thermal conductivity, enhanced fracture toughness, and improved resistance to oxidative-degradation. Thermal stability of epoxies is being enhanced by incorporating thermally-stable functionalities derived from cyanate esters. The thermal conductivity of molding compounds is being enhanced with functionalized boron nitride fillers, while the fracture toughness of molding compounds is being enhanced with rubber-coated silica fillers that serve as crack-energy absorbers. The simultaneous synergy of enhancing the thermal stability, thermal conductivity and crack resistance provides unique opportunities to develop high-performance epoxy molding compounds to address some of the limitations of current wafer and panel fan-out packages as well as emerging high-power automotive electronics.

In recent work published in Scientific Reports [ ], together with collaborator Damien Rontani of Centrale-Supélec in Metz, France, Profs. David Citrin and Alexandre Locquet of ECE with PhD students Daeyoung Choi (ECE) and C.-Y. Chang (Physics) have used a chaotic optical signal produced by an external-cavity semiconductor laser to generate sufficiently random-like numbers at very high rate, based on the sub-100 picosecond timescale determining the dynamics of the laser.  The team demonstrated efficient compression flowed by high-fidelity reconstruction of images using this technique.  The work at Georgia Tech was conducted at the GT-CNRS UMI 2958 laboratory ( at Georgia Tech Lorraine ( in Metz, France where the Nonlinear Dynamics and Optics group led by Profs. Citrin and Locquet.  According to Citrin, "This work is exciting as it opens the way to ultrahigh-speed compression of sparse signals--and we hope soon in a way to be carried out in the physical layer."

View "Compressive Sensing with Optical Chaos" in Scientific Reports at this link.
Energy Storage and Conversion Laboratory Research on Polymerization Shows Promise for Use in Rechargeable Batteries

Self-polymerized dopamine is a versatile coating material that has various oxygen and nitrogen functional groups. In a recent publication, the Energy Storage and Conversion Laboratory, led by Assistant Professor Seung Woo Lee,  demonstrated the redox-active properties of self-polymerized dopamine on the surface of few-walled carbon nanotubes (FWNTs), which can be used as organic cathode materials for both Li- and Na-ion batteries. The hybrid electrodes produced by the team exhibited a high rate-performance and excellent cycling stability, suggesting that self-polymerized dopamine is a promising cathode material for organic rechargeable batteries.

Read the research article at this link.
Cleanroom Corner

Accelerate your Research on Biomolecular Interactions by Utilizing the Biacore T200

The organic cleanroom at the Institute for Electronics and Nanotechnology has available for users the Biacore T200 system. The Biacore T200 is an excellent tool for use in detailed studies of biomolecular interactions, from fundamental research stages to drug discovery and development, and on to QC. The Biacore T200 delivers high quality kinetic, affinity, concentration, specificity, selectivity, and thermodynamic interaction data – in real time with exceptional sensitivity.

  • Obtain high quality kinetics from the fastest on-rates to the slowest off-rates
  • Analyze interactions involving the smallest low molecular
    weight (LMW) compounds
  • Process up to 384 samples in unattended runs
  • Get final results faster using guided workflows with built-in
    data quality assessments
  • Recover samples for identification by mass spectrometry
  • Apply dedicated tools for confident immunogenicity testing
  • Increase understanding of molecular mechanisms and
    structure-function relationships
  • Define potential drug targets and diagnostic markers
  • Select and characterize biotherapeutic candidates
  • Select and optimize lead compounds during drug discovery
  • Detect and characterize anti-drug antibodies (ADA) in
    immunogenicity studies
  • Perform time- and cost-efficient concentration analysis in
    vaccine development

Need training on the Biacore T200, or have questions? The IEN Staff is available to help. Call (404-407-6122) or email ( to discuss your project.
More information can be found through

TEM Imaging and Sample Preparation Services

Over the past year, the Georgia Tech Materials Characterization Facility (MCF) has focused on updating its capabilities for performing TEM imaging and sample preparation. This included the acquisition of a new Hitachi 200 kV aberration-corrected STEM, as well as bringing together sample preparation tools from various laboratories. We have also recently installed a new Oxford Omniprobe 200 nanomanipulator for the FEI Nova Nanolab 200 FIB/SEM system.

Due to these recent upgrades, the MCF team is pleased to announce that they are now in a position to offer TEM imaging and sample preparation services.

Sample preparation and imaging is available for ceramics, metals, semiconductors, interfaces, devices, and more.
  • Nanoparticle characterization for size and morphology
  • TEM imaging of 1-D and 2-D extended lattice defects
  • STEM/HAADF imaging of materials for Z contrast imaging
  • EDS/EELS for elemental and chemical analysis of phases and impurities
  • Nano diffraction for crystal structure determination
  • Evaluation of grain size, structure, and intergranular material
  • Secondary electron imaging for high-res surface feature inspection
Education News

A program of SENIC at the Institute for Electronics and Nanotechnology, Georgia Institute of Technology. Explore exciting interdisciplinary opportunities in nanoscale science and engineering at Georgia Tech’s IEN facilities. This program is not limited to Georgia Tech undergraduates, anyone may apply!


Application Available Online at This Link

ARPA-E Announces New Funding Opportunities (FOA)

SWITCHES - Strategies for Wide Bandgap, Inexpensive Transistors for Controlling High-Efficiency Systems
The projects in ARPA-E's SWITCHES program, which is short for "Strategies for Wide-Bandgap, Inexpensive Transistors for Controlling High-Efficiency Systems," are focused on developing next-generation power switching devices that could dramatically improve energy efficiency in a wide range of applications, including new lighting technologies, computer power supplies, industrial motor drives, and automobiles. SWITCHES projects aim to find innovative new wide-bandgap semiconductor materials, device architectures, and device fabrication processes that will enable increased switching frequency, enhanced temperature control, and reduced power losses, at substantially lower cost relative to today's solutions. More specifically, SWITCHES projects are advancing bulk gallium nitride (GaN) power semiconductor devices, the manufacture of silicon carbide (SiC) devices using a foundry model, and the design of synthetic diamond-based transistors. A number of SWITCHES projects are small businesses being funded through ARPA-E's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program.

Interested in this funding opportunity? More information can be found through this link to the ARPA-E proposal specifics.
NEXTCAR Next-Generation Energy Technologies for Connected and Automated On-Road Vehicles

Recent rapid advances in driver assistance technologies and the deployment of vehicles with increased levels of connectivity and automation have created multiple opportunities to improve the efficiency of future vehicle fleets beyond in new ways. The projects that make up ARPA-E's NEXTCAR Program, short for "NEXT-Generation Energy Technologies for Connected and Automated On-Road Vehicles," are enabling technologies that use connectivity and automation to co-optimize vehicle dynamic controls and powertrain operation, thereby reducing energy consumption of the vehicle. Vehicle dynamic and powertrain control technologies, implemented on a single vehicle basis, across a cohort of cooperating vehicles, or across the entire vehicle fleet, could significantly improve individual vehicle and, ultimately, fleet energy efficiency.

Interested in this funding opportunity? More information can be found through this link to the ARPA-E proposal specifics.
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