The Roll-to-roll Nanotechnology Facility is an example of a RSL Nanotechnology Initiative that is currently forming in Massachusetts with a broad focus on Micro/Nanotechnology Devices and Systems. Roll-to-roll (R2R) manufacturing processes make it possible to economically print electronic devices and other technology products at meters-per-minute rates on inexpensive plastic film, paper, or foil, and to achieve feature dimensions as small as a few nanometers over areas encompassing billions of identical devices. The Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is a leading U.S. research program on polymer-based roll-to-roll manufacturing of devices and functional materials with nanometer-scale features. With a dedicated suite of nanoimprint lithographic and custom designed tools for coating functional hybrid materials, we combine fundamental research in materials science, nanotechnology and device development with test bed R&D to translate laboratory research into nanomanufacturing reality. Furthermore, the translational research being conducted in the R2R Nanofabrication Facility addresses issues of process development and scalability on industrially meaningful platforms.
The Massachusetts RSL leverages the federal investment of $40 M through 2016 in the NSF Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing $40 M through 2016 to fund the R2R Nanofabrication Facility and a state investment of $5 M to build a nanofabrication facility. The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative/John Adams Innovation Fund has further made an investment of $2 M for collaborative research agreements with Massachusetts companies for innovation and economic development. To date, MTC/JAII has funded 16 matching grants to Massachusetts Companies for a total of $580 K. The CHM has formed an Industrial Advisory Board on R2R Manufacturing consisting of 15 Companies, and established a Massachusetts R2R Industry Cluster supporting academic research consisting 8 Member companies and growing. The CHM partnership includes 6 Academic Institutions and 1 DoD Laboratory. The CHM has been issued 9 patents.
Cluster R (R2R) Established October 2011: Fostering Cluster Development for the R2R Industry
In developing a roadmap towards sustainability, the CHM has established an industry Cluster in R2R processes in 2011, and has 8 members to date and growing. Cluster R, which is part of the CUMIRP program at UMass Amherst, conducts pre-competitive research in advanced processes and materials with guidance from cluster members. This provides the cornerstone for additional activities in progress with other institutions in the state and northeast to build a Micro/NanoTechnology Systems Institute fostering all aspects of the innovation pipeline.
Cluster R focuses on member-supported research for the fabrication and characterization of polymer-based nanostructured materials, hybrid nanomaterials and templates on scaled, flexible substrates via roll-to-roll (R2R) process platforms. Companies specializing in advanced coating and printed electronics can integrate these process and materials approaches in fabricating functional flexible materials and devices for high-value added products.
R2R Nanofabrication Facility
Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing
374 Lederle Graduate Research Tower, University of Massachusetts Amherst
710 North Pleasant Street
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