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WTC welcomes Andy Kaplan as lab business development manager

Andy Kaplan has joined Washington Technology Center as business development manager for WTC's Microfabrication Laboratory. His primary responsibilities include managing and developing collaborative business efforts and outreach between the Microfabrication Laboratory and Northwest industrial and academic customers. With more than 15 years of business development, marketing, and program management experience for small technology companies, he brings to WTC a record of commercializing award-winning technologies developed from R&D; labs.

Prior to joining WTC, he served in executive positions at Hinds Instruments, Isonics and ReuseRecycleReclaim. Mr. Kaplan holds a BSME from the University of Delaware with an emphasis in Materials Science. In his spare time, he enjoys skiing, sailing and restoring vintage homes.

Andy Kaplan may be reached at akaplan@watechcenter.org or 206-685-3973.

Related WTC links:

  • Learn more about the WTC Microfabrication Laboratory

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    Microvision's pico projector launched by Vodafone Spain

    Microvision, a Redmond-based developer of light-scanning technologies, has announced that Vodafone Spain is now offering Microvision’s SHOWWX Laser Pico Projector at a price of 289 € (approximately $430 U.S.). Vodafone Spain is also marketing the projector along with the Mini Nokia N97 smartphone.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Vodafone Spain Launches Microvision’s SHOWWX Laser Pico Projector
    Microvision blog - Redmond, Wash. - December 1, 2009

    Related WTC links:

  • Microvision is a WTC client
  • Microvision nets $30.8M from stock sales
    Posted 12/07/2009
  • Microvision announces first sales of world's first laser pico projector
    Posted 10/09/2009
  • Microvision CEO says pico projector to retail for $400-$600 at introduction
    Posted 8/03/2009
  • Microvision secures $1M contract from Lockheed Martin
    Posted 7/08/2009
  • Microvision receives $15 million equity investment
    Posted 6/22/2009

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    Microvision nets $30.8M from stock sales

    Microvision, a Redmond-based developer of light-scanning technologies, has netted approximately $30.8 million from two recent stock sales. According to its press releases, Microvision intends to use the net proceeds of the offering for general corporate purposes, including, but not limited to, working capital and capital expenditures.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Microvision Announces Closing of Public Offering of Common Stock
    Microvision press release - Redmond, Wash. - December 2, 2009
  • Microvision Announces Closing of Public Offering of Common Stock
    Microvision press release - Redmond, Wash. - November 24, 2009


    Related WTC links:

  • Microvision is a WTC client
  • Microvision announces first sales of world's first laser pico projector
    Posted 10/09/2009
  • Microvision CEO says pico projector to retail for $400-$600 at introduction
    Posted 8/03/2009
  • Microvision secures $1M contract from Lockheed Martin
    Posted 7/08/2009
  • Microvision receives $15 million equity investment
    Posted 6/22/2009

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    Microvision announces first sales of world's first laser pico projector

    Microvision, a Redmond-based developer of light-scanning technologies, has announced the first sales of its recently launched pocket-sized pico projector. The company received a purchase order in September from its Asian distribution and marketing partner, and announced in October a deal with an undisclosed global consumer electronics OEM that plans to private label the projector. Details of market launch activities have not been released.

    Update (10/28/2009): Uniden Corporation of Japan is the previously undisclosed global consumer electronics OEM. Microvision has also announced it received an order from a global mobile phone operator.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Microvision Lands Order For SHOWWX Laser Pico Projectors With World Leading Mobile Phone Operator
    Microvision press release - Redmond, WA - October 27, 2009
  • Microvision Secures Global Consumer Electronics OEM To Private-Label Laser Pico Projector
    Microvision press release - Redmond, WA - October 8, 2009
  • Microvision Receives Purchase Order and Begins Shipping World's First Laser Pico Projector, SHOWWX
    Microvision press release - Redmond, WA - September 30, 2009

    Related WTC links:

  • Microvision is a WTC client
  • Microvision CEO says pico projector to retail for $400-$600 at introduction
    Posted 8/03/2009
  • Microvision secures $1M contract from Lockheed Martin
    Posted 7/08/2009
  • Microvision receives $15 million equity investment
    Posted 6/22/2009
  • Microvision lands supplier of green lasers for its pico projector
    Posted 5/08/2009

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    New technology stimulus program for small businesses in Washington

    Washington Technology Center's new Microfabrication Laboratory Access Program will award short-term access to sophisticated MEMS fabrication equipment to help companies develop job-growing, innovative commercial technologies.

    SEATTLE - August 24, 2009 - Washington Technology Center announces today the launch of the Microfabrication Laboratory Access Program, a new stimulus program that will award short-term access to sophisticated MEMS fabrication equipment to help small companies in Washington develop job-growing, innovative commercial technologies.

    "In these difficult economic times, I commend Washington Technology Center for offering companies increased access to resources for developing market-ready products," said Washington's Director of Commerce Rogers Weed. "This kind of collaboration between the public and private sectors helps support our state's 21st century industries, and more importantly, helps to create quality jobs right here in Washington."

    "Our new lab access program is one of three state-funded programs that we're using to invest in innovation in Washington state," said Lee Cheatham, Ph.D., executive director of Washington Technology Center. "We believe this program will help small companies more effectively leverage limited funding for technology development in the current economy.

    Washington Technology Center will accept proposals from companies with fewer than 100 employees in any technical area or industry that can utilize the facilities and equipment of the center's 15,000-square-foot Microfabrication Laboratory. Eligible projects include, but are not limited to: proof of concept, prototyping, testing, process development, and small-scale production.

    Proposals selected for awards will need to show clear potential for economic impact and a well-defined work plan. As the award program is focused on companies that have an immediate need for laboratory facilities, lab access projects are limited to a maximum of three consecutive months of no-cost Microfabrication Laboratory use.

    Tours of the Microfabrication Laboratory will be held Aug. 28 and Sept. 29, 2009.

    More information about the Microfabrication Laboratory Access Program is available online at http://www.watechcenter.org/accessprogram.

    About Washington Technology Center
    Washington Technology Center is a statewide economic development organization focused on technology and innovation. We spark ideas, form connections between people and resources, and foster job growth to position Washington state as a national technology leader. As an organization, Washington Technology Center channels state, federal, and private resources to help companies develop and commercialize new products and technologies. Our 15,000-square-foot Microfabrication Laboratory provides companies and university researchers access to facilities and specialized equipment for micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) research and product/process development. The impact of Washington Technology Center's work has generated more than $600 million in additional investment for Washington companies and researchers. For more information how Washington Technology Center can help research and development projects succeed, visit www.watechcenter.org or call 206-685-1920.

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    WSU breaks ground on Vancouver engineering building

    Washington State University celebrated August 19, 2009 with a ground breaking in Vancouver for the $43.5 million Applied Technology Classroom building. The four-story 56,000-square-foot building will open in 2011 for use by WSU Vancouver's new undergraduate electrical engineering program. The building is the only new capital project funded by Washington state in the current biennium. Funding for a proposed adjoining semiconductor user facility -- to be operated by Washington Technology Center -- is being sought from federal sources.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • WSU elevates high-tech offerings
    The Columbian - Vancouver, WA - August 19, 2009
  • In Our View, Aug. 21: Progress on Parade
    The Columbian - Vancouver, WA - August 21, 2009

    Related WTC links:

  • Vancouver user facility featured in The Columbian’s B2B magazine
    Posted 7/19/2008
  • Funding secured for Washington Technology Center user facility in Vancouver
    Posted 10/19/2007
  • New High-Tech Research Lab Slated for Vancouver
    Posted 7/21/2006

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    2009 Micro Nano Breakthrough Conference Announces Panelists for "The Changing Face of Technology Transfer and Early Stage Venture Funding"

    September 21-23, Lloyd Center Doubletree Hotel, Portland, Oregon www.micronbc.org

    SEATTLE - August 11, 2009 - The 2009 Micro Nano Breakthrough Conference, co-hosted by the Washington Technology Center and Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute and presented by Hewlett-Packard Co. and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, announces the panelists for its closing plenary panel and reception.

    MNBC 2009 will be addressing head-on the challenging environment for early stage funding with an outstanding panel of tech transfer and early stage investment experts, addressing such topics as:

    If recessions are when great opportunities are born, how exactly does one take advantage of that?
    Is the VC model as we know it dead?
    If so, what will replace it?
    What first steps must the technology entrepreneur get right?

    The panelists are:
    Dr. Fiona Wills, Director of Technology Licensing, UW TechTransfer, University of Washington
    Cheryl Cejka, Director of Technology Commercialization, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
    Jim Torina, President and CEO of The University Funds, LLC.
    Rick LeFaivre, Ph.D, Partner, OVP Venture Partners
    Michael Hochberg, Ph.D, EE professor (and entrepreneur), University of Washington
    Lewis Lee, co-founder of Lee & Hayes PLLC
    Chris Hurley, co-founder and Principal at Beacon Law Advisors

    Panel Moderator: Pat Murphy, COO, The University Funds, LLC

    And for the first time, MNBC will accept conference participants' questions for the panelists in advance. Questions may be submitted (attributed or anonymous) at:

    https://surveys.bus.oregonstate.edu/BsgSurvey2_0/main.aspx?SurveyID=3210

    More about MNBC 2009

    The MNBC, now in its 6th year, is widely regarded as the best regional "small tech" event in the nation, and expects to attract over 300 professionals from the Pacific Northwest and around the world.

    The peer-reviewed conference presentation program, posted at http://oregonstate.edu/conferences/MNBC/MNBC09_Program.pdf features:

    * Technical Sessions
    * Advanced Nanomaterials for Energy Storage
    * Sensor Systems
    * Microtechnology for Energy Applications
    * Nanotechnologies for Proteomics
    * Electron and Ion Beam Nanofabrication
    * Bioconjugation at the Nanoscale
    * Microfabrication and MEMS Devices
    * Nanotechnology for Disease Detection and Drug Delivery
    * Photonics
    * High Performance, Greener Nanomaterials and Applications

    ...a full-day symposium on Solar Energy Materials Industry growth, materials overview and focus on thin film materials science breakthroughs

    ...three half-day short courses
    Nanotechnology 101: What Technology and Business Professionals Should Know
    Nanotechnology Commercialization: Intellectual Property and Patent Reform
    Pacific Northwest Micro and Nanoscale Engineering Workshop

    ...a combined research poster session and company exhibition

    ...and an outstanding slate of keynote speakers addressing nanotechnology for renewable energy, environmental and medical applications

    The advance registration rate of $195 and deeply discounted hotel block rate of $116 are available until August 31, 2009. See www.micronbc.org.


    For further information, please visit www.micronbc.org or contact the conference manager:

    Skip Rung
    President and Executive Director
    ONAMI
    skip@onami.us
    541.231.4883

    About Washington Technology Center
    Washington Technology Center is a statewide economic development organization focused on technology and innovation. We spark ideas, form connections between people and resources, and foster job growth to position Washington state as a national technology leader. As an organization, Washington Technology Center channels state, federal, and private resources to help companies develop and commercialize new products and technologies. Our 15,000-square-foot Microfabrication Laboratory provides companies and university researchers access to facilities and specialized equipment for micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) research and product/process development. The impact of Washington Technology Center's work has generated more than $600 million in additional investment for Washington companies and researchers. For more information how Washington Technology Center can help research and development projects succeed, visit www.watechcenter.org or call 206-685-1920.

    About ONAMI
    ONAMI (Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute) is Oregon's first Signature Research Center, with $37M in state investment since 2003. ONAMI's dual mission is to rapidly grow collaborative research and commercialization of NanoScience and MicroTechnologies to foster the creation of new products, companies and jobs in the Pacific Northwest. It unites the University of Oregon (Eugene), Oregon State University (Corvallis), Oregon Health and Science University and Portland State University with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (Richland, Wash.), the state of Oregon, private investors and leading companies in the world-leading "Silicon Forest" small-tech industry cluster. Principal activities include development a network of shared user facilities and management of a proof-of-concept stage gap grant fund that has so far enabled 14 new companies.

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    Microvision CEO says pico projector to retail for $400-$600 at introduction

    A pocketable projector being developed by Microvision, a Redmond-based developer of light-scanning technologies, will retail in the $400-$600 at introduction says company CEO Alexander Tokman in a video interview with FoxBusinessNetwork.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Small Cell Phone Screen? No More
    FoxBusinessNetwork - Youtube.com - July 24, 2009

    Related WTC links:

  • Microvision is a WTC client
  • Microvision secures $1M contract from Lockheed Martin
  • 6-22-09: Microvision receives $15 million equity investment
  • 5-8-09: Microvision lands supplier of green lasers for its pico projector

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    nLIGHT of Vancouver, Wash. recognized for fourth consecutive year as one of the fastest growing technology companies

    nLIGHT, a manufacturer of high-power laser diode-based products located in Vancouver, Wash., has been named for the fourth consecutive year in a row in Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 as one of the fastest growing technology companies in North America.

    According to the nLIGHT press release, "Deloitte's Technology Fast 500 is an award that recognizes the fastest growing technology, media, telecommunication and life sciences companies in North America based on percentage fiscal year revenue growth over five years (2004-2008). nLIGHT achieved a ranking of 76th of the fastest growing 500 technology companies in North America during 2008."

    Larry Hile a partner in Deloitte's Technology, Media & Telecommunications practice based in Seattle said, "The Technology Fast 500 organizations are innovating with increasing speed and global vision helping to deliver breakthrough growth in their respective markets. It's these visionary organizations and leaders that deliver greatness, even during these difficult economic times."

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • nLIGHT Recognized for Fourth Consecutive Year by Deloitte as One of the Fastest Growing Technology Companies
    nLIGHT - Vancouver, Wash. - May 4, 2009

    Related WTC links:

  • nLIGHT is a WTC client
  • nLIGHT adds $10.7 million in growth capital
    Posted 2/03/2009

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    Microvision secures $1M contract from Lockheed Martin

    Microvision, a Redmond-based developer of light-scanning technologies, has secured a $1,000,000 subcontract from Lockheed Martin Corporation to develop a daylight-readable, see-through, low-profile, ergonomic eyewear display. According to a Microvision press release, "This subcontract is part of DARPA’s Urban Leader Tactical Response, Awareness & Visualization (ULTRA-Vis) program, an advanced technology development initiative, whose objective it is to build a soldier-worn system that provides non-line-of-sight command and control in distributed urban operations for dismounted warfighters."

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Microvision Announces $1M Contract Award from Lockheed Martin Corporation to Develop Low-Profile See-Through Eyewear Displays
    Microvision - Redmond, WA - July 7, 2009

    Related WTC links:

  • Microvision is a WTC client
  • 6-22-09: Microvision receives $15 million equity investment
  • 5-8-09: Microvision lands supplier of green lasers for its pico projector

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    Question: what would you like to see at the next Innovation Summit?

    Share your thoughts in the comments section.

    Labels: , , , ,

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    Photos, video and highlights of the Innovation Summit

    CTED Director Rogers Weed addressing the summit


    From Senator Cantwell's "energy is the mother of all markets" to McKinstry proving potential energy savings before financing a client's improvement project, Washington's Innovation Summit 2009 had many highlights and 'lightbulb' moments for the 350 attendees. Visit the summit Web page for photos, video and coverage of the event.

    What are your take aways from the event? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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    InnovaTek among 12 semifinalists in Clean Tech Open

    InnovaTek, a Richland-based developer of patented technologies for sustainable power and environmental safety, is among 12 Pacific Northwest region semifinalists in the Clean Tech Open, a national competition and program that helps clean technology businesses. The semifinalists were chosen from a field of 56 initial competitors in the clean tech business plan competition. Companies are vying for three regional prizes of up to $50,000 in cash and services as well as one national prize of up to $250,000 in cash and services.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Clean Tech Open
  • Clean Tech Open rewards 12 startups from the Northwest
    TechFlash - Seattle - June 26, 2009

    Related WTC links:

  • InnovaTek is a WTC client

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    Microvision receives $15 million equity investment

    Microvision, a Redmond-based developer of light scanning technologies, announced that Taipei-based Walsin Lihwa Corporation, through its subsidiary Max Display Enterprises Limited, has agreed to an equity investment of approximately $15 million in Microvision.

    "We are pleased to welcome Walsin Lihwa as an investor to Microvision in addition to being a key enabling strategic supply chain partner in our go-to-market strategy," said Alexander Tokman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Microvision. "We look forward to continuing the strong working relationship we have developed with Walsin Lihwa over the years."

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Microvision press release
    June 22, 2009

    Related WTC links:

  • Microvision is a WTC client
  • Microvision lands supplier of green lasers for its pico projector

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    2009 Micro Nano Breakthrough Conference Announces Keynote Speakers, Preliminary Program and Advanced Registration - Sept. 21-23, 2009 in Portland Ore.

    The 2009 Micro Nano Breakthrough Conference, co-hosted by Washington Technology Center and Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute, and presented by Hewlett-Packard Co. and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, today announces its preliminary program and lineup of keynote speakers.

    Keynoting the 2009 conference will be:

    Dr. Jud W. Virden, Jr.
    Energy Sector Manager
    Energy and Environment Directorate, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

    Dr. Donald Tomalia
    Director of the National Dendrimer Center, Central Michigan University

    Dr. B. Ray Stults
    Associate Laboratory Director Energy Sciences, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

    Dr. James B. Roberto
    Director, Strategic Capabilities
    Oak Ridge National Laboratory

    Dr. Rosa Yang
    Vice President, Innovation
    Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)

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    The peer-reviewed presentation program, posted at http://oregonstate.edu/conferences/MNBC/program.html features:

    Technical Sessions
    * Advanced Nanomaterials for Energy Storage
    * Sensor Systems
    * Microtechnology for Energy Applications
    * Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechnology
    * Electron and Ion Beam Nanofabrication
    * Bioconjugation at the Nanoscale
    * Microfabrication and MEMS Devices
    * Nanotechnology for Disease Detection and Drug Delivery
    * Photonics
    * High Performance, Greener Nanomaterials and Applications

    ...a full-day symposium on Solar Energy
    Industry growth, materials overview and focus on thin film materials science breakthroughs

    ...three half-day short courses

    * Nanotechnology 101: What Technology and Business Professionals Should Know
    * Nanotechnology Commercialization: Intellectual Property and Patent Reform
    * Arrayed Microchannel Technology Industry Forum

    ...a combined research poster session and company exhibition

    ...and an investor-led closing panel:
    The Changing Face of Technology Transfer and Early Stage Venture Funding

    The MNBC, now in its 6th year, is widely regarded as the best regional "small tech" event in the nation, and expects to attract over 300 professionals from the Pacific Northwest and around the world.

    Sponsors to date include Hewlett-Packard, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, FEI Company, Stoel Rives, Christensen O'Connor Johnson & Kindness, Life Technologies, Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt, Nanotechnology Now, and Eclipse Technologies.

    The special rate for full conference registration is available until September 11, 2009 at www.micronbc.org.

    For further information, please visit www.micronbc.org or contact the conference manager:

    Skip Rung
    President and Executive Director
    ONAMI
    skip@onami.us
    541.231.4883

    Event: 2009 Micro Nano Breakthrough Conference
    When: September 21-23, 2009
    Location: Lloyd Center Doubletree Hotel, Portland, Oregon
    Description: Science, commercialization and networking for the micro- and nano-tech innovation economy.
    Registration: A special rate for full conference registration is available until September 11, 2009
    Web site: http://www.micronbc.org
    Contact: Robert D. "Skip" Rung, president and executive director, Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute. E-mail: skip@onami.us

    About Washington Technology Center
    Washington Technology Center is a statewide economic development organization focused on technology and innovation. We spark ideas, form connections between people and resources, and foster job growth to position Washington state as a national technology leader. As an organization, Washington Technology Center channels state, federal, and private resources to help companies develop and commercialize new products and technologies. Our 15,000-square-foot Microfabrication Laboratory provides companies and university researchers access to facilities and specialized equipment for micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) research and product/process development. The impact of Washington Technology Center's work has generated more than $600 million in additional investment for Washington companies and researchers. For more information how Washington Technology Center can help research and development projects succeed, visit www.watechcenter.org or call 206-685-1920.

    About ONAMI
    ONAMI (Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute) is Oregon's first Signature Research Center, with $37M in state investment since 2003. ONAMI's dual mission is to rapidly grow collaborative research and commercialization of NanoScience and MicroTechnologies to foster the creation of new products, companies and jobs in the Pacific Northwest. It unites the University of Oregon (Eugene), Oregon State University (Corvallis), Oregon Health and Science University and Portland State University with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (Richland, Wash.), the state of Oregon, private investors and leading companies in the world-leading "Silicon Forest" small-tech industry cluster. Principal activities include development a network of shared user facilities and management of a proof-of-concept stage gap grant fund that has so far enabled 14 new companies.

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    Modumetal gains $1.5M in new funding round

    TechFlash reports that Modumetal, a Seattle-based developer of nanostructured materials, has raised more than $1.5 million in a new funding round from Second Avenue Partners, the Alliance of Angels, and other investors.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Modumetal scores new funding
    TechFlash - Seattle, WA - May 29, 2009

    Related WTC links:

  • Modumetal is a WTC client

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    Nanotechnology Health & Safety Forum - June 8-9, 2009

    The Nanotech Health and Safety Forum is being presented in Seattle at the Edgewater on June 8-9, sponsored by Batelle, UW, Univ. of Oregon, Oregon State, Riddell, Intertox, and others.

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    Date(s): June 8, 2009 (Monday) to June 9, 2009 (Tuesday)
    Time: 12:00 PM to 12:00 PM
    Location: The Edgewater Hotel, 2411 Alaskan Way, Pier 67, Seattle, WA 98121
    URL: http://www.nhsf2009.org/
    Description:

    This conference is being held in conjunction with the first-ever U.S. meeting of the International Standards Organization Technical Action Group 229. This group is focused in substantial part on drafting global standards for safe use of nano materials and is meeting just down the waterfront at Bell Harbor during that same week.

    Assembled are an extraordinary faculty of panelists, including some of the top researchers, regulators, underwriters and loss control specialists in the country dealing with the critical issue for these uniquely capable materials: are they safe to work with and when will industry know? In addition, although the ISO/ANSI program is a closed meeting, there will be some overlap through a key reception and some cross over speakers, making this a great opportunity to meet the leading edge thinkers from 24 countries on this issue - over 200 scientists, corporate figures, insurers, regulators, and others.

    There will also be an MIT Enterprise Forum on nano research and use in conjunction with the reception.

    Featured Speakers
    -Dr. Leroy Hood, renowned co-founder of the Institute for Systems Biology and recipient of the Biotechnology Heritage Award.

    -Dr. Kenneth Dawson, Director of the Centre for BioNano Interactions (CBNI), the Irish national platform for excellence in the interaction of nanoparticles with living systems (www.cbni.eu).

    -Dr. Justin Teeguarden, one of the authors of the recent National Research Council report "Review of the Federal Strategy to Address Environmental, Health, and Safety Research Needs for Engineered Nanoscale Materials."

    For more confirmed speakers and panelists for the NHSF, please visit the website at www.nhsf2009.org.

    Contact: Ammon Gilbert
    206.443.2115
    agilbert@intertox.com

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    Modumetal, UW Partnership Receives Funding for Anti-Corrosion Technology

    Modumetal to develop an innovative commercial anti-corrosion technology in partnership with University of Washington's Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

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    SEATTLE – May 20, 2009 – Washington Technology Center (WTC) has awarded an Entrepreneur's Access grant to the University of Washington to support an advanced material research collaboration with Modumetal, Inc. of Seattle, Washington.

    Modumetal, Inc., a Seattle-based developer of nanostructured materials, is collaborating with the University of Washington's Department of Materials Science and Engineering on a project titled "Functionally-Graded Preceramic Polymer Coating for Corrosion Resistant Commercial Sulfuric Acid Pipelines."

    "We are excited about this opportunity to partner with the exceptional researchers at the University of Washington to create this cutting-edge material for new commercial anti-corrosion application," says Leslie Warren, Modumetal's Project Manager and senior engineer in this effort. Christina Lomasney, the company's CEO confirms that "with support from partners like the WTC and University of Washington, Modumetal is poised to create a new technology that will have broad industrial application and will result in new jobs and economic growth in our region."

    Sulfuric acid is a highly corrosive substance used extensively in industrial processes. Typical anti-corrosion coatings have a weakness – if breached, they leave the metal surface underneath the coating vulnerable to acid attack. Modumetal has a unique production method that eliminates this surface weakness by allowing anti-corrosion materials to be functionally combined with metal.

    With this project, the team of Modumetal and UW Professor Rajendra Bordia, Ph.D., plans to modify a preceramic polymer system developed at the University to merge with a functionally graded materials system developed by Modumetal for corrosion protection of commercial sulfuric acid production pipelines for ConocoPhillips.

    "This project combines the research that has been done at the University of Washington and at Modumetal to develop a novel solution for a significant problem in the area of corrosion," said Dr. Bordia. "The short term EA funding from WTC gives us a chance to initiate this joint development and prepares us for long term collaboration with Modumetal. The need for corrosion resistant coatings is widespread and the proposed solution that we will be exploring with Modumetal has the potential to impact a broad range of industries."

    Modumetal expects that successful application of this technology will lead to many opportunities in the $300 million corrosion-prevention market.

    The $5,000 award for this project comes from an Entrepreneur's Access grant from Washington Technology Center (WTC). WTC competitively awards around $1 million in state funding annually for research and technology development projects. State funding enables collaboration between companies and non-profit research institutions on technology projects that show strong potential for commercializing products and creating jobs. Since 1996, the state has funded 330 research and technology development projects.

    "This grant is a great example of state government at its best," said Washington State Representative Jamie Pedersen (D-Seattle). "The seed money from WTC, combined with world-class research facilities at the University of Washington and the innovative entrepreneurs at Modumetal, will create jobs and help the state maintain its lead in technology."

    More information about the research and technology development program is available online at http://www.watechcenter.org/rtd.

    About Modumetal, Inc.
    Modumetal (www.modumetal.com) was co-founded in 2006 in Seattle, WA to realize the commercial potential of a unique class of advanced materials. Modumetal is creating revolutionary nanolaminated and functionally-graded materials that will change design and manufacturing forever by dramatically improving the structural, corrosion and high temperature performance of coatings, bulk materials and parts. Modumetal represents a whole new way of producing parts and is leveraging nanotechnology to achieve this unprecedented performance. Modumetal is made by a "green" electrochemical manufacturing approach, which reduces the carbon footprint of conventional metals manufacturing at the same time that it redefines materials performance.

    About Washington Technology Center
    Washington Technology Center is a statewide economic development organization focused on technology and innovation. We spark ideas, form connections between people and resources, and foster job growth to position Washington state as a national technology leader. As an organization, Washington Technology Center channels state, federal, and private resources to help companies develop and commercialize new products and technologies. Our 15,000-square-foot Microfabrication Laboratory provides companies and university researchers access to facilities and specialized equipment for micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) research and product/process development. The impact of Washington Technology Center's work has generated more than $600 million in additional investment for Washington companies and researchers. For more information how Washington Technology Center can help research and development projects succeed, visit www.watechcenter.org or call 206-685-1920.

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    Related WTC links:

  • Modumetal is a WTC client

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    MITEF: Extreme Science and its Entrepreneurial Opportunities - June 8, 2009

    The next decade will see a renewed focus on extreme science, the realm of PhDs, exotic instrumentation, complex intellectual property, and lengthy clinical trials. Call it Sci-Tech rather than Hi-Tech. In this strange new world, where are the business opportunities for venturists and entrepreneurs?

    On the 10th anniversary of the White House report that led to America's National Nano Initiative, MIT Enterprise Forum presents a panel of three exciting and very different start-up ventures that exploit molecular materials engineering across an array of markets.

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    Date(s): June 8, 2009 (Monday)
    Time: 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM
    Location: Edgewater Hotel, Seattle
    URL: http://www.mitwa.org/catalog/index.cfm?fuseaction=product&theParentId;=120&id;=829
    Description:

    COME EARLY and hear a keynote address by Dr. LEROY HOOD, Founder of the Institute for Systems Biology, to attendees of the 2009 Nanotechnology Health and Safety Forum. And please consider joining them for their 2-day conference at the Edgewater (see details below).

    MIT Enterprise Forum (starting from 7:00 pm) panelists include:

    • Chris Wheaton, Chief Operating & Financial Officer of Seattle-based ENERG2, developing innovative energy storage solutions based on proprietary nano-structured carbon materials that are finely controlled and offer ultra-high surface areas.
    • Bart Norton, Director of Sales at Redmond-based Asemblon, using molecular self-assembly to fabricate and efficiently tailor unique catalytic chemicals to enhance material processing in a variety of industries.
    • Christina Lomasney, CEO and Founder of Seattle-based Modumetal, pioneering thin-film nano-laminate metallurgy techniques that grow metal parts through greener manufacturing to develop high-performance materials for industrial, maritime, aerospace and automotive applications.
    • Moderator: John Martin, MIT Alumnus and former Director of the Washington State Nanotechnology Initiative; collaborator, 2009 Nano Health and Safety Forum (NHSF) and WA / ORE Micro / Nano Breakthrough Conference (MNBC).

    Reception starts at 5:30 pm. MITEF program starts at 7:00 pm. $30 registration includes hors d'oeuvre reception and admission to NHSF Keynote Address by Dr. Leroy Hood.

    Nanotechnology Health & Safety Forum (NHSF)
    June 8-12, 2009

    The Nanotechnology Health & Safety Forum (NHSF) sponsored by Battelle, the University of Washington, the University of Oregon, and Oregon State University, will focus on occupational and environmental health and safety standards of nanotechnology, providing attendees with important insights and answers. The NHSF has been scheduled to coincide with the first U.S.-hosted meeting of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee (TC) 229 Nanotechnologies, which is taking place June 8-12, 2009.

    Throughout two information packed days, NHSF will explore the science of nanotechnology, government regulations, insurance and risk management, along with the roles of corporations and non-profit organizations as related to the future of nanotechnology. For more information, please visit www.nhsf.org.

    Contact: JaRon Snow
    (425) 771-4790
    mitenterpriseforum@verizon.net

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    Microvision lands supplier of green lasers for its pico projector

    Microvision, a Redmond-based developer of light scanning technologies, moves a step closer to shipping its new pico projector to users with the announcement that it has landed Corning as a supplier of green lasers. For two years, Microvision has been waiting for a company to be able to supply production-level quantities of green lasers. Microvision expects its Show WX pico project to be commercially available mid-2009. The Show WX projector uses lasers, not optical lenses, to project images ranging smaller than 6 inches to larger than 100 inches diagonally from a device the size of a portable music player. A key benefit -- in addition to the small size -- is that focusing is not necessary with laser projection technology.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Corning and Microvision Announce Agreement for Supply of Green Lasers for Microprojectors
    Microvision press release - May 4, 2009
  • Green lasers arrive for pico projectors
    EE Times - May 6, 2009

    Related WTC links:

  • Microvision is a WTC client
  • Microvision demonstrates a preproduction pico projector at Macworld and CES

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    UW IGERT Nanotechnology Conference - June 10-12, 2009

    The Center for Nanotechnology at the University of Washington will be holding its annual IGERT Nanotechnology Conference jointly with Japan’s National Institute for Material Science (NIMS) on June 10th, 11th and 12th at the UW Tower. The themes for this year’s conference are photonics, energy and bio-nanotechnology.

    The three day event will consist of plenary sessions, poster session and reception and facility tours of the Center for Nanotechnology. Featured speakers include George Whitesides from Harvard University, James Gimzewski from UCLA, and Bryon Gates from Simon Fraser University.

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    IGERT Nanotechnology Conference

    Frontiers in Nanotechnology

    Date(s): June 10, 2009 (Wednesday) to June 12, 2009 (Friday)
    Time: 8:30 AM to 12:00 PM
    Location: UW Tower Seattle, WA
    URL: http://depts.washington.edu/ntuf/outreach/workshop09.php

    A list of invited speakers and tentative schedule can be found on the event Web site while planning is being finished. Registration is FREE, but seating is limited to 200 people. Please registrar using the link above to attend this event.

    RSVP: No fee to attend, but seating is limited.

    Contact: Mack Carter
    206.616.9320
    mcarter@U.WASHINGTON.EDU

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    Washington's Innovation Summit 2009 wrap-up

    From Senator Cantwell's "energy is the mother of all markets" to McKinstry proving potential energy savings before financing a client's improvement project, Washington's Innovation Summit 2009 had many highlights and 'lightbulb' moments for the 350 attendees. Read on for Summit highlights and media coverage.



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    Summit Highlights

    Sustainable energy:
    -Jet fuel replacement is critical, as electricity is not an option as in cars
    -Algae, tallow and biomass will be the key sustainable biofuel sectors
    -Regulatory assistance is critical to helping small companies navigate bureaucracy.
    -Early-stage funding is very difficult; need political will for government assistance (need a 'man on the moon' mission for sustainable energy sector).

    Healthy ecosystems:
    -Green chemistry: replacing molecules to make things non-toxic or less toxic
    -Bio Security: nanotechnology to address water safety issue
    -Washington has leading research institutions, but needs to focus additional effort on commercialization

    Urban sustainability:
    -Monitoring and making visible the energy usage in buildings
    -Energy savings are dependent on users changing behavior
    -Focus on how to lessen dependence on single-occupancy vehicles

    Innovative materials and manufacturing:
    -The future of airplane construction could involve wood again in the form of nanocrystalline cellulose particles

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Washington Innovation Summit Roundup
    Blogging Innovation from Braden Kelley of Business Strategy Innovation - Seattle, WA - April 16, 2009
  • From Microsoft to Olympia: Q&A; With Rogers Weed, New Washington Commerce Chief
    Xconomy - Seattle, WA - April 15, 2009
  • Jet Biofuel, the Carbon Slaughterhouse and Green Jobs: Washington's Innovation Summit
    WorldChanging Seattle - Seattle, WA - April 13, 2009
  • How Cleantech Ideas Happen: Report from an Innovation Summit
    Energy Priorities - Seattle, WA - April 10, 2009
  • Bellevue tech summit highlights innovation
    Seattle Post Intelligencer - USA - April 10, 2009
  • Brother, Can You Spare a Stimulus Dime? Washington Innovation Summit Notebook
    Xconomy - Seattle, WA - April 10, 2009
  • Innovation Summit: Using wood to build airplanes, again
    The Seattle Times - WA - April 9, 2009
  • Cantwell: Smart grid "mother of all markets"
    The Seattle Times - WA - April 9, 2009
  • Technology Innovations in Washington
    Weekday from KUOW.org - Seattle, WA - April 6, 2009

    Related WTC links:

  • Washington's Innovation Summit 2009

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    nLIGHT adds $10.7 million in growth capital

    nLIGHT Corporation (nLIGHT), the emerging leader of high-power semiconductor lasers, announced that it has received $10.7 million in the first closing of a new equity financing. nLIGHT will use the new growth capital to drive continued product development of integrated laser modules and increase sales in its core industrial, defense, and medical markets. Continued investment came from existing venture investors Oak Investment Partners, Mohr Davidow Ventures and Menlo Ventures.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Read the nLIGHT press release

    Related WTC links:

  • nLIGHT is a WTC client

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    Microvision demonstrates a preproduction pico projector at Macworld and CES

    Microvision's plug-and-play projector creates a large screen image from a miniature device that connects to the TV-out or VGA connector on portable devices such as mobile phones, portable media players and notebook computers.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • More at Broadcast Engineering
  • More at Microvision

    Related WTC links:

  • Microvision is a WTC client

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    Call for proposals for 2009 MNBC Speakers

    The sixth annual Micro Nano Breakthrough Conference, the nation’s best regional “small tech” conference, co-hosted by the Washington Technology Center and Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI) will be back for a sixth year after last year’s highly successful event. You are invited to participate!

    2009 MNBC Speaker Abstract and Bio Submission

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    Prospective authors are invited to submit abstracts to the Sixth Annual Micro Nano Breakthrough Conference. Abstracts (300 word maximum) must be submitted no later thanWednesday, March 31, 2009. Approximately 30 presentation/panelist presentations and 30 posters (on display throughout the conference and at a special 3 hour reception) will be included in the program.

    You will be notified no later than Friday, May 29, 2009. If your abstract is accepted, the abstract will be distributed to all conference attendees and posted on the conference website. You will also be required to electronically submit a final abstract and short bio for the conference program, and to prepare/submit PowerPoint or poster presentation materials in accordance with conference specifications.

    Topics relevant to micro and nanoscale technologies for which abstracts are especially encouraged:

    Advanced MEMS devices and applications
    Sensors and systems, e.g. for motion control
    Nanoelectronics and biolectronics
    Nanoscale patterning and fabrication processes
    Printed and solution-processed devices and systems
    Nanomaterial design, synthesis and scale-up
    Nanomaterials for clean-tech applications
    Nano-bio technologies
    Micro-energy and chemical systems
    Nanoscale imaging and chemical analysis
    Nanomedicine and cancer therapies
    Nano-optics and optoelectronic technologies

    Tentative session format:
    Ten presentation sessions will be selected from the above topic list, and will have the following format:

    One overview paper covering the state-of-the-art and needed breakthroughs
    One cutting-edge research paper (university or national laboratory)
    One commercialization/new product development paper (industry or later stage startup company)

    Contributors of presentation abstracts will be asked to identify which category they are submitting for.

    www.micronbc.org

    2009 Conference Manager
    Skip Rung, President and Executive Director
    ONAMI
    Email - skip@onami.us
    Telephone - 541.231.4883

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    ONAMI Greener Nano 2009 - March 2 to 3, 2009

    This two-day conference focuses on cutting edge research in greener nanomaterials design and production.

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    Date(s): March 2, 2009 (Monday) to March 3, 2009 (Tuesday)
    Time: 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM
    Location: Invitrogen Corporation - Eugene, Oregon
    URL: http://oregonstate.edu/conferences/greenernano2009/
    Description: ONAMI Greener Nano 2009
    03.02.09
    Invitrogen Corp., Eugene OR

    This two-day conference focuses on cutting edge research in greener nanomaterials design and production. The plenary sessions will include presentations from national and regional experts on greener design, greener production, nanoparticle characterization challenges (particularly at the bio/nano interface), and bio-distribution/tracking nanoparticles in living systems.

    The confirmed evening keynote speaker for Greener Nano 2009: Dr. Hilary Godwin, UCLA School of Public Health and the California Nano Systems Institute.

    The Conference:

    Technical sessions in which national and regional experts will discuss:

    Greener design
    Greener production
    Nanoparticle characterization challenges at the bio/nano interface
    Biodistribution/tracking nanoparticles in living systems

    Research and graduate student poster session

    Reception and tour at the brand-new, state-of-the-art Lorry I. Lokey Laboratories (ONAMI Signature Research Facility) at the nearby University of Oregon
    Contact: Carol Hanson
    541.346.4579
    carolhan@uoregon.edu

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    JEOL provides more details on first electron beam lithography machine in Northwest

    JEOL USA issued a press release giving more information on the Pacific Northwest's first-of-its-kind electron beam lithography tool. JEOL will install the tool to support nanoscience research when the University of Washington takes delivery of a JEOL JBX-6300FS e-beam system. The system will be installed in the state-funded Washington Technology Center Microfabrication Lab. Funding for the tool acquisition was provided through a state-supported STAR researchers’ grant to Michael Hochberg, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering, and a matching grant from the Washington Research Foundation.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • More in the JEOL press release

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    EnerG2 raises $8.5 M in financing round

    EnerG2, a Seattle-based startup in the energy storage market, announced the company has raised $8.5 million in a Series A financing round led by OVP Venture Partners of Kirkland and Firelake Capital Management of Palo Alto, California. EnerG2 uses University of Washington technology to create ultracapacitors which store and release more energy faster than conventional batteries.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • More in the EnerG2 press release
  • More in TechFlash
  • More in Xconomy
  • More in Seattle Times

    Related WTC links:

  • EnerG2 is a WTC client

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    UW's "bionic" contact lens named a best invention by TIME

    A prototype 'bionic' contact lens manufactured at WTC's Microfabrication Laboratory by Babak Parviz, a UW assistant professor of electrical engineering, has been named to TIME's Best Inventions of 2008.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Read more at TIME
  • Learn more about the technology at University of Washington News

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    Multimillion-dollar nano tool coming to WTC Lab

    Within a year, companies and researchers will have access to a $2.5 million electron beam lithography tool to be housed in the WTC Microfabrication Laboratory. The machine, one of a handful available at U.S. institutions, will be acquired by the University of Washington with significant financial support from the Washington Research Foundation.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • More in UW News

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  • 2008 Micro Nano Breakthrough Conference offered excellent networking

    Outstanding technical presentations and speeches characterized this annual event held at the Hilton Vancouver Washington September 8-10. The conference concluded with an industry panel addressing how micro/nano companies succeed in making the transition from start-up to growth.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • More in The Columbian

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  • Vancouver user facility featured in The Columbian’s B2B magazine

    The article details user facility capabilities, describes linkages between WSU Vancouver and the community, and shows how the semiconductor user facility would be a boost to the region.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Read more in The Columbian article

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  • Microfabrication Lab, NanoTech User Facility to operate jointly

    Facility will serve both academic and industrial users, and act as a micro and nano technology resource for companies in the state of Washington and nationwide.

    Related WTC links:

  • Read more

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  • Efficere, WSU Vancouver improving signal transfer in electronics

    Their partnership is profiled in an article by the Vancouver Business Journal. The team aims to streamline the electronics design process.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Read more in the Vancouver Business Journal

    Related WTC links:

  • Efficere is a WTC client

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  • UW nano research doubles efficiency of dye-sensitized solar cells

    Using an innovative clumping approach to surface design, A UW team led by Guozhong Cao, a professor of materials science and engineering, doubled the efficiency of zinc oxide based dye-sensitized solar cells. The team plans to transfer the concept to titanium oxide.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Read more at UWNews.org

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  • Prototype 'Bionic' Contact Lens Developed at WTC Lab

    Babak Parviz, a UW assistant professor of electrical engineering, heads a multi-disciplinary group developing virtual displays on contact lenses. The prototype contact lenses, with metal connectors for electronic circuits, were manufactured in WTC's Microfabrication Laboratory. "Looking through a completed lens, you would see what the display is generating superimposed on the world outside," said Parviz.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Read more at UWeek.org

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  • Aculight Awarded $850K SBIR Grant

    The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program award from the National Institutes of Health will fund a joint effort with the University of Washington to develop a laser-based vestibular implant to treat impaired balance and vision.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Read the Aculight press release [PDF]

    Related WTC links:

  • Acculight is a WTC client

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  • Microvision Pico Projector Technology Featured in The Economist

    CEO Alexander Tokman discusses the laser-diode technology that enables Microvision's miniature, mobile 'pico' projector. Once commercialized, the technology will enable portable devices such as phones to project images onto walls.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Read more in The Economist

    Related WTC links:

  • Microvision is a WTC client

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  • SEMATECH Starts Nanoimprint Lithography Effort

    SEMATECH, the international consortium for basic research into semiconductor manufacturing, has announced the start of a nanoimprint lithography effort in 2008. This is a significant boost of that technology, which replaces expensive optics, as currently used in semiconductor chip manufacturing, by a simple stamping procedure. Washington Technology Center, with the support of DARPA, has recently acquired the first nanoimprinting tool in a public user facility in the Northwest.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Read more in EE Times

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  • Micro Nano Breakthrough Conference - Sept. 8-10, 2008

    This fifth annual conference has emerged as the premier nanoscience and microtechnologies research and business event in the Pacific Northwest.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Read more

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  • Washington Technology Center adds nanoimprint lithography tool to its Microfabrication Laboratory

    Washington Technology Center added a new tool to our Microfabrication Laboratory in December 2007: a nanoimprint lithography machine. This tool, which is the first of its kind in Washington state and which will first be used for our DARPA-sponsored nanolithography research program, will eventually become available to the Pacific Northwest research community. Nanoimprint lithography may be the key to introduction of nanotechnology to mass fabrication: while creating nanometer-sized structures (a nanometer is a billionth of a meter) with conventional techniques such as electron-beam lithography is very costly and time consuming, nanoimprint lithography can transfer nanometer structures onto a full wafer within a few seconds. Washington Technology Center is currently investigating opportunities in both the biosensing and solar energy fields.

    Related WTC links:

  • Visit the Microfabrication Laboratory Web site

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  • Micro Nano Breakthrough Conference examined 'small' innovations

    Dr. Clayton Teague of the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office, Stan Williams of HP, Holger Neuhaus of the SolarWorld subsidiary Deutsche Cell, and Alan Nelson of VisionGate (a WTC client) were among the highlights of the 2007 Micro Nano Breakthrough Conference, a regional showcase for an audience of more than 300 global nanotechnology leaders.

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    Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI) and Washington Technology Center co-hosted the event in Portland, Oregon on September 10-12, 2007 as part of our efforts to promote regional cooperation around nanotechnology.

    Using a mixture of scientific overview and business talks, the conference covered research and commercialization topics in energy, biofuels, photovoltaics, forest products, green nanotechnology, environmental health & safety, and medical diagnostics, devices and therapeutics.

    Dr. Clayton Teague, Director of the U.S. National Nanotechnology Coordination Office, captivated the audience with an overview of the origins of the nanotechnology boom (see Richard Feynman's 1959 speech "Plenty of Room at the Bottom") and a vision of the not-so-distant future of nanotechnology where large amounts of materials may be created by assembling atoms one by one.

    Stan Williams, Hewlett-Packard Laboratories Senior Fellow & Director of Quantum Science Research, discussed the use of titania as a storage medium for the world’s smallest electronic storage devices developed in HP Labs. HP uses nanoimprinting to produce the ultra-small electrodes to wire the storage elements.

    Holger Neuhaus, Head of Technology for the SolarWorld subsidiary Deutsche Cell, presented a fascinating overview of state-of-the-art silicon solar cell fabrication using screen printing — a technology that accounts for almost 90% of the solar cell market. SolarWorld, an international solar concern based in Germany, has recently acquired a silicon factory in Hillsboro (Oregon) from Japan's Komatsu-Group. SolarWorld is upgrading this facility to become the largest solar factory on the American continent.

    Alan Nelson, CEO of VisionGate, explained the context and potential impact of their technology for cancer cell screening. With research funding through Washington Technology Center, VisionGate and UW researcher Eric Seibel are expecting to break new ground in 3D cell nucleus diffraction analysis which will lead to new capabilities in pharmaceutical drug discovery and cell biology research.

    "The conference was a very good snapshot of research and business activities in Oregon and Washington in the fields of nano and microtechnology," said Dr. Dirk Weiss, Senior Research Scientist at Washington Technology Center. Dr. Weiss, who will co-chair the 2008 Micro Nano Breakthrough Conference, notes that the annual event is a valuable opportunity to make new contacts with experts in the field. At next year's event, Dr. Weiss plans to include a special symposium on nanoscale lithography, drawing together experts from across the Pacific Northwest.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Read more

    Related WTC links:

  • is a WTC client

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  • Funding secured for Washington Technology Center user facility in Vancouver

    More than $1 million in state and federal funds are committed to the design of new electrical engineering and semiconductor facilities at Washington State University Vancouver.

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    Dr. Dirk Weiss joins WTC as senior research scientist

    As a senior research scientist with Washington Technology Center, Dirk Weiss assumes responsibility for the DARPA-funded nanolithography project. Dirk’s graduate degrees are in physics and materials science from Freie Universität Berlin and Max-Planck-Institute for Metals Research (Stuttgart, Germany), respectively. He completed his postdoctoral research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in February 2005, where he had built a transistor using single nanoparticles. He subsequently worked at United Technologies Research Center on renewable energy technologies. Dirk and his family recently moved to the Seattle area from Boston.

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    Micro Nano Breakthrough Conference - Sept. 10-12, 2007

    The 2007 Micro Nano Breakthrough Conference in Portland will focus on nanotechnology development.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Micro Nano Breakthrough Conference site

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  • Emerging Developments in Nanoscale Lithography

    Article by Dr. Dirk Weiss, Senior Research Scientist, Washington Technology Center
    As the Complementary Metal–Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) industry transitions in 2007 from 65-nanometer to 45-nanometer structures, emerging developments in extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography and nanoimprint lithography (NIL) may advance the industry toward even smaller feature sizes in the next decade. Theses were two of the main topics discussed at the recent SPIE Advanced Lithography Conference in San Jose, California.

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    While the technology for shifting from 65-nanometer to 45-nanometer structures is available now, the exponential increase in cost-of-ownership for 32-nm technology tools may pose a barrier to further miniaturization.

    EUV research for 32-nm technology is aimed at overcoming a variety of challenges of this advanced nanoscale lithography. Ultra-high vacuum systems are required for sub-15-nm-wavelenth radiation. New infrastructures for mask fabrication and metrology must be created. Optical flare, mirror contamination and plasma stability are also issues. New resists are needed to overcome resolution limited by acid diffusion.

    Cost is a barrier with 32-nm technology. Compared to the cost of more than $30 million for a modern optical water-immersion scanner for 45-nm technology, the expected price for a EUV scanner for 32-nm technology will approach $100 million.

    NIL, which was developed only 10 years ago, represents an even more disruptive approach than EUV. Proponents argue that the lower cost of ownership positions NIL as a viable alternative to EUV for the 32-nm node and beyond. The CMOS industry, however, remains very skeptical. The general consensus is that the first commercial products with nanostructures made by NIL will be non-CMOS applications such as magnetic hard drives, light emitting diodes (LEDs) or sensors.

    The NIL process is comparably simple and comes in two types: Ultraviolet (UV)-NIL and thermal NIL. In the former, a transparent (quartz) mold is pressed into a low-viscosity UV-curable resist; the resist is hardened with a flash of UV light before the mold is removed. In the latter, a solid resist is heated above its glass-transition temperature before the molding process. The patterned resist can be either used as an etch mask, or directly incorporated into a device. Thermal NIL is more versatile for patterning a variety of materials, whereas UV NIL has more stringent requirements for the resist such as low viscosity and UV cross-linking properties. UV NIL is performed at room temperature, which eliminates problems associated with differential thermal expansion.

    The three main advantages of NIL are the lower cost of ownership, the extremely high resolution (2 nm feature size has been achieved in the laboratory) and parallel fabrication as opposed to the very slow process of serial writing with electron beams or scanning probe microscopy. The main challenges are limited overlay accuracy, relatively high defect density, and mask metrology (mask features are 1:1, whereas features on photomasks are scaled up by a ratio of 4:1). These challenges would be less critical in non-CMOS applications with less-stringent defect tolerance and no or less-stringent overlay requirements.

    Products incorporating NIL-patterned nanostructures are not yet found on the market, but there is very high activity in industrial and academic R&D; laboratories in developing such applications. The comparably low cost of NIL, which is as low as $500,000 for a basic tool, will position this technology as ideal for small companies and academic applied research environments.

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    2007 Micro Nano Breakthrough Conference is Sept. 10-12 in Portland

    Save the date for the 4th annual Micro Nano Breakthrough Conference. This regional event, held September 10-12, 2007 at the Doubletree Hotel and Executive Meeting Center in Portland, Oregon, is co-hosted by the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI) and Washington Technology Center (WTC).

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    Building a Micro/Nano Tech Economy

    The conference will bring together leaders to focus on development of micro and nano technology for new products. Attendees will share ideas and findings, build collaborative networks, participate in working groups, exhibit commercial technologies and services, and help set agendas for developing new microproducts.

    Participation Opportunities:
    • Attend the conference to ask questions and share ideas
    • Be a conference sponsor or sponsor a particular session
    • Present a paper in a technical or business session
    • Exhibit business and industry technologies and capabilities
    • Sponsor a session
    • Attend a short course
    • Present a poster paper
    • Host a hospitality suite
    • Join one of the working groups. This is an opportunity to be on a team that will find a direction and follow it

    Who should Attend:

    If you are involved in the transformation from discovery and development to commercialization of products this conference is for you.

    • Scientists
    • Students
    • Engineers
    • Technology transfer specialists
    • Academicians
    • Strategic planners
    • Entrepreneurs
    • Business Development Managers
    • Venture Capitalists
    • Product Development Professionals
    • R&D; Managers
    • Investors
    • Administrators
    • Investment analysts
    • Product Development Managers
    • Proposal writers
    • Government Officials
    • Legislators
    • Policy Makers
    • Legislative assistants & analysts
    • Non-Government Organization Officials
    • Intellectual property managers

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • www.micronbc.org

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  • MFL, CN Probes Partner in Breakthrough Growth of Carbon Nanotubes

    In one of the most famous scenes in the 1967 film, The Graduate, Walter Brook's character Mr. McGuire ceremoniously intimates to protagonist Benjamin Braddock (portrayed magnificently by Dustin Hoffman) that "Plastics" are the next big thing.

    Thirty years later, you might hear a similar statement touted by recent Columbia graduate and CN Probes CEO Brian Ruby. Only instead of plastics, the catch phrase is "Carbon Nanotubes."

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    Ruby, a New York college graduate-cum-Washington state business entrepreneur, is a client of the Washington Technology Center's Microfabrication Laboratory (MFL) and a key player in a successful joint research project between CN Probes and the MFL to develop and grow carbon nanotubes (CNTs) on a silicon wafer. The team recently completed groundbreaking research that did, in fact, successfully grow CNTs on a targeted location and confirmed the growth through various spectroscopic techniques. It is estimated that only four or five research groups in the world have achieved similar results on this scale.

    The CNTs grew out of pure collaboration. WTC's facility had the right tools in place to spark this type of innovation. According to Ruby, these capabilities extended beyond the lab's physical equipment such as the furnace used to grow the CNTs and the UW Nanotechnology User Facility's Raman Spectrum used to verify the results. "It's the collaborative environment of the Microfab Lab that makes these kinds of breakthroughs possible," he says. "It's a highly supportive and creative culture. The staff is just as committed to discovery and process innovation as their clients," Ruby notes. "Plus, WTC understands 'start-up mode' and work with their customers to keep access up, costs down and IP protected."

    Lab Manager Michael Hjelmstad concurs. He says that working with clients like CN Probes, PCB Piezotronics, and Microvision, who are pioneers in their fields, is inspiring and the goal of the lab is to go beyond just providing equipment and training and be a true research partner.

    "Imagine WTC is an architect who builds the ultimate kitchen for master chefs of various cuisines," explains Hjelmstad. "Brian Ruby has brought the lab his own special CNT recipe. That's a good analogy for the Carbon Nanotubes project."

    Hjelmstad also praises the assistance of the University of Washington's Nanotechnology User Facility, also housed in Fluke Hall, WTC's headquarters and the location of WTC's Microfabrication Laboratory. "We could not have confirmed the CNT growth without the assistance of Dong Qin and her team," Hjelmstad notes. "They were an invaluable partner and resource throughout this process."

    While still in the very early stages, carbon nanotubes have been lauded for their potential product versatility. The material is widely applicable to numerous applications and has been praised for its unique properties.

    However, when trying to integrate CNTs into a small-scale device, such as Nantero's nanotube based memory, CN Probes' molecular imaging probes or a new Intel processor, issues of scalability, reliability and reproducibility arise. With the new system at MFL, CN Probes and WTC are attacking these issues head on and making great progress. They are not the first team to grow carbon nanotubes, but they are part of an elite few that claim to be able to grow them under manufacturing conditions.

    Brian Ruby is optimistic this can be done. He sees CNTs as having high value in developing targeted applications for drug discovery. Ruby is aiming to evolve a process to grow an entire wafer of tubes on micro-machined atomic force microscope tips, which will vastly improve the resolution and utility of atomic force microscopes, a molecular imaging technique used by virtually everyone doing nanotech research.

    Related WTC links:

  • Carbon Nanoprobes is a WTC client
  • WTC's Microfabrication Laboratory

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  • Atomic Layer Deposition for Processing at the Nanoscale

    By Chris Hodson, Oxford Instruments and Dr. Erwin Kessels, Eindhoven University of Technology

    Within the current trends of downscaling in the semiconductor industry and the boost in nanoscience and nanotechnology, Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) is a good method of choice for depositing high quality films with ultimate growth control and with excellent step coverage on very demanding high-aspect ratio features. The virtue of this approach is that deposition is controlled at the atomic level by self-limiting surface reactions by alternate exposure of the substrate surface to different gas-phase precursors. This set of reactions form one ALD-cycle resulting basically in one (sub) monolayer of film growth per cycle, repeated until the desired film thickness is reached.

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    Unlike Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD), the deposition rate is not proportional to the flux on the surface. Therefore the same amount of material is deposited everywhere even in high aspect ratio structures when there is sufficient flux, providing excellent uniformity and conformality on large substrates. Relatively low substrate temperatures are used in the process (typically 200-400 °C, but even down to 25 °C with plasma ALD), and ALD can readily produce multilayer structures.

    A plasma-based ALD approach yields several benefits in addition to the earlier mentioned benefits of the ALD process itself:

    -improved material properties including higher film density, lower impurity levels, and better control of film composition and microstructure

    -deposition at reduced temperatures

    -increased choice of precursors and materials, including even high quality single metals that are difficult to obtain by “thermal” ALD

    -good control of film stoichiometry by tailoring the plasma step as well as the possibility to introduce dopants

    Oxford Instruments’ new FlexAL™ ALD tool, developed in consultation with leading figures in the field, can uniquely deposit by both plasma and thermal chemistries, enabling the widest choice of materials possible, and has been designed for solid, liquid and gas precursors, and with several of these connected at once, enabling nanolaminates. Its load-locked wafer entry offers important benefits for safety, throughput, and low background contamination levels. FlexAL delivers excellent uniformity on 8 inch wafers, but can equally process smaller wafers and pieces.

    The benefits of plasma ALD are illustrated by examples of processes already demonstrated on the FlexAL tool. Al2O3 is a common material deposited by ALD with applications including passivation of OLEDS, hard mechanical wear coatings of MEMS structures and use as a medium-k dielectric. Plasma ALD enables deposition down to room temperature, particularly important for deposition onto temperature sensitive organics, plastics and photoresist.

    TiN is a conductive metallic nitride used both as a diffusion barrier to copper and as a general metal electrode. Using plasma ALD with N2/H2 plasma, varying the N2:H2 ratio allows control of the film stoichiometry. The role of the hydrogen is in removal of the chlorine impurities in the film as HCl; increasing the plasma exposure time allows for a more complete reaction to reduce the chlorine impurity content and decreasing resistivity.

    Sponsored Article

    FlexAL™ - New flexibility and capability in atomic layer deposition.
    Atomic layer deposition (ALD) enables the creation of precisely controlled ultra-thin film – nanometer and sub-nanometer – materials, with conformal coating into high aspect ratio structures. Oxford Instruments’ new FlexAL™ systems offer a unique new range of flexibility and capability in the engineering of nanoscale structures and devices, by offering both plasma and thermal ALD processes. For more information, call us toll-free at 1-800-447-4717 or visit www.oxford-instruments.com.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Visit Oxford Instruments

    Related WTC links:

  • Visit the WTC Microfabrication Laboratory

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  • 2006 Micro Nano Breakthrough Conference on TVW

    The 2006 Micro Nano Breakthrough Conference, which ran July 24-26, 2006 in Vancouver, Washington, was well received, with strong attendance and a solid program. The regional event also garnered broad coverage by local media before, during and after the event. Check out select sessions on TVW. The station filmed portions of the conference which are viewable in their archives. Washington Technology Center and ONAMI co-hosted the event.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • 2006 MNBC on TVW
  • MNBC official site

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  • New High-Tech Research Lab Slated for Vancouver

    A proposal to build a new semiconductor and micro device research and development laboratory in Vancouver, Washington recently got a jump start thanks to Congressman Brian Baird. In June, Representative Baird, whose district encompasses southwest Washington, secured $100,000 in federal funding to be used towards Phase I development of the facility.

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    The laboratory is part of a broader regional economic development plan being led by the Washington Technology Center, the Columbia River Economic Development Council, and local semiconductor businesses such as nLight Photonics and Sharp Laboratories. The plan, known as the Semiconductor Industry Reinvestment Initiative, will help sustain job growth and accelerate future economic development in Southwest Washington. This region already has a strong cluster of start-up and established companies working in the fields of semiconductors and microelectronics.

    "This funding will create jobs and spur economic development by helping existing high-tech businesses grow and attracting new businesses and researchers to our region," said Congressman Baird. "I have long supported public-private partnerships in education, and this is a very promising program."

    The $100,000 secured by Congressman Baird will come from the Housing and Urban Development Economic Development Initiative's Facilities Construction/Renovation account.

    "The lab is a key element of our strategy to build a foundation for innovation for our existing and future technology businesses," says Bart Phillips, President of the Columbia River Economic Development Council. "This initial investment is a critical step forward and is the direct result of the collaborative partnership driving this initiative."

    The new Clark County facility will be sited on the Washington State University-Vancouver campus. The lab will provide high-tech businesses and academic researchers in Southwest Washington with a local resource for conducting leading-edge semiconductor and micro device research. Building, furnishing and managing a facility of this caliber is a multi-million dollar investment. Most companies that conduct research in the fields of microelectronics are in their growth stages and can't afford to build and maintain this caliber of process development and prototyping in-house.

    Phase I development of the research center includes planning and constructing a small clean room in an existing space near the WSU-Vancouver campus and purchasing equipment to develop a foundation of standard semiconductor and micro device fabrication processes at the lab.

    The Vancouver facility will be modeled after the Washington Technology Center's Microfabrication Laboratory located on the University of Washington campus in Seattle. Built in 1995, WTC's Microfab Lab is an example of a successful $6.5 million public-private venture. At the time, Washington was gaining recognition for its strengths in micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), a key process used in numerous leading-edge commercial applications. The facility filled a critical need for the state's growing base of research engineers working in the MEMS field. Over the last 10 years the lab has matured into a self-sustaining business bringing in over $1 million in revenue annually. And it will soon be expanding its capabilities to cater to the next generation of technologies which will integrate nano-scale processes into product development.

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    Micro/Nano Breakthrough Conference is July 24-26, 2006 in Vancouver

    There is still time to sign up for the 3rd annual Micro/Nano Breakthrough Conference. This regional event, held July 24 to 26, 2006 at the Hilton Hotel in Vancouver, Washington, is co-hosted by the Washington Technology Center (WTC) and the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI).

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    The Pacific Northwest holds a great deal of promise as a region well-positioned to capitalize on the potential offered by scientific discovery and industry innovation in fields where micro and nano technologies stand to transform industries. To illustrate this, the Micro/Nano Breakthrough Conference has put together a comprehensive program dedicated to exploring the potential for this revolutionary technology.

    Special keynote presenters include Dr. Celia Merzbacher, Executive Director of the President's Council on Science and Technology, and White House liaison to the National Nanotechnology Initiative; Dr. James P. Huang, Senior Manager of Boeing's Phantom Works; and Dr. Meyya Meyyappan, Director for the Center for Nanotechnology and Senior Scientist with NASA Ames Research Center.

    MNBC serves as a showcase for the broad range of innovative new technologies encompassed in micro and nano-scale R&D; and commercialization. Sessions cover everything from electronics to energy to agriculture to aerospace.

    Specific topics include:
    *Advances in Forest and Agricultural Products
    *MEMS Hydraulics and Power Generation
    *How Aerospace is Driving Nanomaterials Development
    *Developing Greener Nanotechnology
    *Environmental, Safety and Health Issues
    *Miniaturization in Health Care Technology
    *Breakthroughs in Materials Science
    *Advanced Energy Systems
    *Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

    Broad topics include:
    *Micro/Nano Basics for Business
    *Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property, and
    *Micro and Nano Science and Technology Driving the Northwest Economy.

    A business and industry trade show will also run throughout the three-day event.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Keynote Speakers


    Dr. Celia Merzbacher


    Dr. James P. Huang


    Dr. Meyya Meyyappan

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Micro/Nano
    Breakthrough Conference

    July 24-26, 2006
    Hilton Hotel, Vancouver, WA

    Cost to attend the conference is $200. Fee includes admittance to all conference sessions, conference meals, breaks, opening reception, and banquet.

    For additional conference details and to register, go to www.micronbc.org.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Micro Nano Breakthrough Conference

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  • Access IQ: Get 'enlightened' on photonics at Sept. 14, 2006 workshop

    Part of the Microfab Lab's AccessIQ Seminar Series

    The light bulb is the quintessential symbol for "idea." The powerful and multi-functional qualities of light are the basic building blocks to numerous scientific explorations, engineering processes and product developments, including micro and nano-scale applications in the fields of electronics, energy, biomedicine and more.

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    At the next AccessIQ seminar, featured researchers will "bring to light" process development innovations in the realm of photonics. WTC's Microfabrication Laboratory has a highly active and innovative R&D; culture in the field of photonics. For this workshop, academic and industry clients will showcase applications derived from leading-edge processes they are developing in the Lab and implementing into next generation consumer products and services.

    The AccessIQ seminar runs from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and is held at the University of Washington Club on the UW Campus in Seattle. Cost to attend the Photonics workshop is $35. Breakfast and course materials are included. Space is limited.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Process Development in Photonics

    Thursday, Sept. 14
    7 a.m. to 9 a.m.

    Registration & Breakfast
    7 - 7:30 a.m.

    Presentation
    7:30 - 9 a.m.

    University of Washington Club, UW Campus, Seattle, WA

    Registration Fee: $35

    Related WTC links:

  • WTC's Microfabrication Laboratory

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  • Dip Pen Lithography Tool Installation Slated for September, 2006

    The WTC Microfabrication Laboratory will be adding a new Dip Pen Lithography tool to its process engineering capabilities this month. The new equipment is scheduled for installation the week of September 18. The Dip Pen will be a primary research tool in WTC's applied nanolithography program. WTC was awarded a three-year contract from the Department of the Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, under the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), to develop and prototype an industrial-grade nano-patterning process in its Microfabrication Laboratory.

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    Nanolithography, process techniques for patterning substrates, typically to create MEMS devices or microchips, has broad applications. It allows virtually any material to be patterned onto a wide range of substrates at the molecular level. This opens up endless possibilities for creating more sophisticated materials, sensors, circuitry, and other applications.

    Dip Pen is a form of lithography in which an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) is at the core of the tool used to pattern or "write" to the substrate. It does this by delivering molecules to a surface via a solvent meniscus, similar to the way an ink pen works, but at a much smaller scale.

    Nano-imprint lithography is a different technique to achieve the same result. For this grant project, WTC will create a "master" using an electron beam (e-beam) tool to pattern a substrate. The substrate will then be inserted into the lab's bonder/aligner tool, which will "stamp" or "imprint" the pattern into a second substrate from which a MEMs device or a microchip can be created.

    The goal of the DARPA-funded Dip Pen Lithography project is to see which technique shows more promise in terms of both ultimate resolution and manufacturability. Many promising new lithographic techniques demonstrate excellent resolution but with limitations such as a relatively small geographic area or without the repeatability required for high volume production. WTC will study all of these parameters, compare and contrast techniques, and create an advanced process with the robustness, reliability and scale-ability needed for prototyping and product manufacturing.

    Nanotechnology-based products are estimated to generate $1 trillion in sales over the next decade. Many of Washington's dominant and emerging industries, including life sciences, energy, manufacturing, electronics and agriculture, will directly benefit from nanolithography process development.

    Nano-scale technology demand will most likely emulate microelectronics in that commercial adoption will be driven by price and manufacturability. Robustness and reliability of nano-scale processes will be the benchmark for performance and economy of scale in medical devices, energy systems and materials-based products. The work that WTC will undertake through this grant project will advance these processes toward the quality and volume required for commercial use.

    Related WTC links:

  • WTC's Microfabrication Laboratory

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  • WTC awarded DARPA grant to launch new nanolithography R&D; program

    Washington Technology Center (WTC) has been awarded a contract from the Department of the Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, under the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), to launch a new nanolithography applied development program in Washington state. WTC received the $863,000 award to develop and prototype an industrial-grade nano-patterning process in WTC's Microfabrication Laboratory.

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    The project is another significant step in the Washington Nanotechnology Initiative (WNI), a collaborative effort by Washington's technology leaders to position our state as a global leader in the use of nanotechnology for next-generation product development.

    DARPA's funding of WTC's nanolithography program provides Northwest companies with the foundation processes they need to evolve their product innovations. Washington state has a solid research and industry base in micro-electronics and semiconductors. These are the building blocks from which many nano-scale technologies are emerging. To keep the state's companies competitive, the state needs to ensure companies are able to act on market opportunities as they arise. WTC's program provides companies with the infrastructure and resources to do this.

    Nanolithography's appeal lies in its incredible versatility. It allows virtually any material to be patterned onto a wide range of substrates at an extremely small scale –- down to the molecular level. This opens up endless possibilities for creating more sophisticated materials, sensors, circuitry, and other applications.

    DARPA supports projects and initiatives where the research and technology development payoff is high with respect to amplifying military operations and missions. Nanolithography is a key component in defense applications and has significant commercial value. Nanotechnology-based products are estimated to generate $1 trillion in sales over the next decade. Many of Washington's dominant and emerging industries, including life sciences, energy, manufacturing, electronics and agriculture, will directly benefit from nanolithography process development. Current technologies that rely on nanolithography include fuel cells, drug-delivery devices, microelectronics and photonics.

    Nano-scale technology demand will most likely emulate microelectronics in that commercial adoption will be driven by price and manufacturability. Robustness and reliability of nano-scale processes will be the benchmark for performance and economy of scale in medical devices, energy systems and materials-based products. The work that WTC will undertake through this grant project will advance these processes to the quality and volume required for commercial use.

    Related WTC links:

  • WTC Microfabrication Laboratory

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  • AccessIQ Seminar: The Business of R&D; - May 18, 2006

    AccessIQ, a seminar series hosted by WTC's Microfabrication Laboratory, takes a case study approach to exploring the latest R&D; trends in micro- and nano-scale process development and fabrication. At the next breakfast meeting, set for Thursday, May 18, 2006, the focus is the "Business of R&D.;" Attendees will explore how effective and innovative process development can open new doors for partnerships, product manufacturing and, ultimately, commercial success.

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    To illustrate this, industry partners and legal experts will discuss effective ways to recognize opportunities, protect intellectual property, and continue to innovate throughout the R&D;, prototyping, and commercialization process. Participants will also hear from experts in the field on their "best practices" for breaking into new markets, competing in existing ones, and successfully transitioning a process from lab prototype to commercially manufactured product.

    The Business of R&D; seminar runs from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and is held at the University of Washington Club on the UW Campus in Seattle. Cost to attend this AccessIQ workshop is $35. Breakfast and course materials are included. Space is limited.

    Related WTC links:

  • WTC Microfabrication Laboratory

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  • Microfabrication Lab Supports Process Innovation in Photovoltaic R&D;

    Working on leading-edge R&D; related to high performance photovoltaics? The Microfabrication Laboratory at Washington Technology Center (WTC) may be just the facility you are looking for to support your product development. The professionally staffed, state-of-the-art lab, complete with clean room, is equipped with all the process tools needed to research, develop, test, and prototype photovoltaic cells, photonics and solid-state devices.

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    The lab's processes and tools specialize in depositing, removing, patterning and characterizing materials at the micro and nano-scale level. These base applications offer a strong foundation from which innovative photovoltaic products can be developed and open the doors for companies to go after near-term opportunities in this field.

    The lab is capable of patterning, etching, depositing and characterizing materials at the micro and nano-scale level. These base applications offer a strong foundation from which innovative photovoltaic products can be developed and open the doors for companies to go after near-term opportunities in this field.

    Efficiency has long been the standard by which compelling new product offerings are judged. The WTC lab has been instrumental in allowing clients to develop next generation micro- and nano-scale products that meet the high demand for power, scale, and cost effectiveness in electronics, fluidics, optics, and fuel cells.

    There's a strong interest in energy efficiency. WTC wants the pioneers working in this sector to know there are resources available to help them deliver their products to market faster and more affordably, without having to sacrifice proprietary control or process quality.

    WTC's Microfabrication Lab is capable of supporting multiple processes integral to photovoltaic fabrication including thin film evaporaion, copper plating, and thin film silicon on glass. The facility maximizes process innovation to allow engineers to develop leading-edge technology that will accelerate the adoption of photovoltaic devices into the commercial marketplace. Breakthrough applications developed and supported at the lab include anti-reflective coatings that increase light absorption and a silicon nanowire-on-glass process for cutting-edge research into third generation photovoltaics.

    In addition to its turn-key appeal, the lab's competitive edge comes from its reputation as an entrepreneur-friendly facility. While there are other facilities in the U.S. and abroad with similar infrastructure for photovoltaics R&D; and prototyping, WTC's lab has a unique advantage in that is was founded on the principle of collaboration and low barriers of entry. Lab clients frequently comment on the lab's commitment to keeping access fees affordable and scalable to allow even early-stage companies to use the lab's services, the consistency of the lab's contract staff to turn out quality work on time and on budget, and the lab's inimitable policy of allowing users to maintain ownership and control of their individual process innovations.

    Related WTC links:

  • WTC Microfabrication Lab

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  • Nanotech Education Could Pay Off for Washington Employers

    Nanotechnology is widely believed to be the next breakthrough technology to alter the performance and quality of everything from electronics to energy, clothing to cosmetics, cars to cancer treatment. How we prepare our industries to embrace this revolution affects how well our state competes in a tech-savvy global economy. A key element is human capital.

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    Nanotechnology is estimated to create or impact hundreds of thousands of jobs worldwide over the next decade. A readily-available, well-trained workforce is essential for local companies to compete in these competitive new markets.

    In September 2005, North Seattle Community College (NSCC) became the first college in Washington state to offer an Associate of Applied Science-Transfer (AAS-T) degree in Nanotechnology. The Microfabrication Laboratory at Washington Technology Center (WTC) and the University of Washington's Center for Nanotechnology are integral partners in the program.

    Both facilities, housed in Fluke Hall on the University of Washington campus in Seattle, provide students access to specialized equipment and processes for hands-on lab sessions as part of the program curricula.

    NSCC's 103-credit degree prepares graduates for entry-level technician positions in the nano/micro-fabrication and related manufacturing industries. A unique aspect of the NSCC program is its focus on real-world application. In addition to academic study in the field of nanotechnology, students take part in lab classes that allow them to perform process work integral to the development of next generation micro and nano-scale products.

    WTC's customers are already anticipating market adoption of nano-scale products and materials and are adapting their processes to address this paradigm shift. The Microfabrication Laboratory is upgrading its equipment and processes to meet the sophisticated needs for nanotech research and development. The next natural step will be a demand for research and process engineers skilled in nanotechnology manufacturing. Anticipating this and addressing it through technical education programs and on-the-job training is a smart initiative.

    Many of NSCC's nanotech courses are taught by expert engineers in the field. As part of NSCC's course, students are exposed to clean room procedures, process fundamentals and maintenance principles of fabrication and characterization equipment at WTC's Microfab Lab. The cross-functional nature of nanotechnology and the lab's ability to support multiple disciplines provide graduates with skills applicable to a diverse range of industries including aerospace, electronics, life sciences, transportation, and pharmaceuticals.

    A key goal of the NSCC program is to provide Washington businesses with access to trained workers. Through the nanotech program, employers have the opportunity to tap into this developing workforce early and hire students as interns or entry-level employees. In fact, WTC did just that and hired one of the NSCC students, Sergei Goloborodov, as an entry-level process technician in its Microfabrication Laboratory.

    Mark Helsel, of long-time Microfabrication Laboratory client Microvision, has hosted a seminar on nanotechnology for high school students during the summer. The program helps kids see a real-world connection between science and math in school and careers in emerging technology fields. Helsel has hosted similar summer seminars for high school students at WTC's facility for the past three years.

    NSCC's degree program and Helsel's summer lab seminar are complementary to the mission of the Washington Nanotechnology Initiative, a statewide program introduced by the Washington Technology Center in 2004 to assure that Washington's businesses and academic institutions are "nano-ready" and prepared to compete in an ever-evolving and highly competitive global economy. Workforce development is one of the key agendas under the Washington Nanotechnology Initiative. The WTC-NSCC partnership is an important model in showing the value of nanotech education at the K-12 and college levels, and its impact in driving talent into graduate research positions and careers in Washington's leading technology industries.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Nanotechnology degree program at North Seattle Community College

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  • WTC Client Profile: Carbon Nanoprobes, Inc.

    Brian Ruby, founder and CEO of Carbon Nanoprobes, Inc., a New-York based start-up, recently traveled 3,000 miles from White Plains to Seattle. The reason for this journey: an in-person visit to the facility where he would undertake some of the most critical research needed to launch his business -- WTC's Microfabrication Laboratory.

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    An intelligent, passionate and poised 22 year-old Columbia University student and entrepreneur, Ruby is that rare combination of scientist and visionary. He's simultaneously developing novel technologies and challenging the boundaries of industry standards, while making the venture rounds to drive capital to his fledgling company.

    Carbon Nanoprobes' product is based on one of the hottest scientific revolutions in the global economy -- nanotechnology. Ruby is looking to produce carbon nano-tube tips for atomic force microscopes -- a critical tool used by research scientists for nano-scale exploration. The novel properties of carbon nanotubes make them ideal for use in a variety of industries including micro-electronics, optics, energy storage, drug delivery and advanced materials. Their strength, electrical properties, and cylindrical shape make them a compelling option for probes.

    Ruby is capitalizing on these opportunities but his company's true competitive edge lies in scalability. Currently, the industry relies on manual production to produce the probes, which realistically only yields tens of tips daily. Carbon Nanoprobes plans to manufacture a whopping 7500 tips a day -- a huge margin ahead of the competition. This mass manufacturing drives down the price point, making the tips more affordable to the end user.

    Finding the right process application to produce consistent tips at a high volume is critical. To achieve this, Ruby was looking for a research laboratory to develop and prototype the tips. As a start-up venture, Carbon Nanoprobes doesn't have the capital to build and maintain a facility with the sophisticated equipment and processes needed to undertake this full-scale fabrication.

    "It didn't make sense to try and replicate a tool set that already exists," says Ruby. "However, finding a facility with the right infrastructure can be challenging." Ruby did his research. He surveyed every known nano center in the nation. He was looking for that winning combination of core competency and cost fit. He found it in WTC's Microfabrication Laboratory.

    The lab's sophisticated tool set captured his attention. What sold him was the attentive reception he received from WTC's lab manager. "He was responsive and flexible," Ruby offers. "The lab's pricing is attractive, especially in capping costs for user fees. This is especially attractive for a company during its intense R&D; phase," he explains.

    The relationship between WTC and Carbon Nanoprobes extends beyond the basic customer-supplier exchange. The company's nano-based technology requires novel processes not readily available through existing equipment, which is geared towards fabrication for micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS). Ruby wants to help pave the way for researchers to use nanotech tools, and sees WTC as a key partner in making that happen. "MEMS makes nano possible," says Ruby. "Product development at the micro level empirically validates what can be done at the nano level." WTC believes MEMS is the springboard for nanotechnology, and WTC staff are thrilled to be working with Carbon Nanoprobes and look forward to evolving processes to meet the needs of the nano community.

    Ruby is using the Microfabrication Laboratory to develop state-of-the-art silicon probes. He'll be using his IP to enhance the functionality of the probes and lay the groundwork for the carbon nanotube tips. Nanotubes produce a superior probe. They're durable, reliable and allow for greater resolution magnitude. Their market adoption will open doors for advanced materials science research that will benefit a myriad of industries including biotech, chemical pharmaceutical, and semiconductors.

    Ruby finds a pleasing symmetry of his company's business model. His product is based on innovation and intellectual property. And by creating the tips, he's helping others in the research field to do the same -- by expanding what's possible in nano-based scientific discovery and commercialization.

    "It's like selling premier picks and shovels to miners -- you are providing them with the tools they need to excel at their craft," he says. "Carbon Nanoprobes is enabling research engineers to experiment and create on the smallest possible scale -- beyond what they've been able to achieve previously."

    Ruby says Carbon Nanoprobes is looking to have a long-term presence in the Microfab Lab. "I am impressed with WTC's commitment to supporting start-ups. The organization's mission is centered on stimulating economic growth through technology entrepreneurship. This spirit carries through to their user facility."

    Related WTC links:

  • Carbon Nanoprobes is a WTC client

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  • Students Experience ‘Science of the Small' in Summer 2005 Lab Program

    Students in the Puget Sound area had the unique privilege of learning about micro and nano scale fabrication as part of a special science lab seminar held summer 2005 at the Washington Microfabrication Laboratory in Seattle.

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    Mark Helsel, Senior Staff Engineer for Microvision, volunteers his time to teach the lab seminar and WTC offers access to their facility to the students for this unique program. Mr. Helsel has conducted research at the Microfab Lab for seven years. The summer science program is co-sponsored by Forest Ridge High School in Bellevue but is open to all Puget Sound area students in grades 10 or above interested in engineering and science. This year, nine teens participated in the program.

    Through the Summer Science Lab, the students participated in hands-on experience seeing how science and engineering is applied to real-world applications. Specifically, the kids learned about technologies used to make silicon computer chips and experiment with photo lithography (a micron scale photo patterning technology) and plasma etching. A laboratory safety class was also part of the program.

    WTC's Microfabrication Laboratory provides the ideal environment for the students to experience high level research in action and work in a first-rate research facility. The kids are able to see how engineering and science principles can be applied by companies and academic researchers in the lab to create a variety of innovative micro and nano scale products in such cutting-edge fields as optics, fuels cells and biotechnology.

    Brian Kemper is currently a college freshman studying to be a chemical engineer. When he learned that 1 in 6 chemical engineers are hired by semiconductor companies like Intel, it piqued his interest.

    He'd heard about the Summer Science program from a friend at school and decided it might be a good introduction to learning more about career opportunities in this field.

    "I'm an avid follower of computer technology and really wanted to see how research on computer chips and other nano-scale parts was done," said Kemper. "The summer science lab offered the chance to experience being in a clean room and using hardware that most people never get to see in their entire lives."

    Brian said the most interesting piece of equipment was the electron microscope. "I had heard of them in science class but had never seen first-hand the extent of their amazingly powerful magnification, he said. "Looking at the pieces of silicon on which we etched patterns, they looked and felt flawlessly smooth. But once we used the electron microscope to zoom 200,000 times real size, you could see mountains of silicon filling an entire 20-inch computer monitor."

    Brooke Bussone attends Forest Ridge High School and is interested in biomedical research. She hopes to one day work for either the Centers for Disease Control or the World Health Organization. She saw that Forest Ridge was offering the Science Lab as part of the school's summer camps programs and thought she could learn something valuable from the program.

    Related WTC links:

  • WTC Microfabrication Laboratory

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  • WTC Awarded Grant for New Lab Equipment

    Washington Technology Center has been awarded a competitive grant from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust to go towards funding for a new Bonder/Aligner for the Microfabrication Laboratory

    This equipment will open up new avenues of research for the Microfab Lab and allow Washington industry and academic engineers to see a significant improvement in process capability with respect to bonding. It will also allow the lab to increase the volume and customization of its contract lithography projects.

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    The grant was received in partnership with the Washington Technology Center, the UW College of Engineering, and Microvision, a Bothell-based company that has been a client of the Microfab Lab since 1998. The partners have all made financial and research commitments towards the equipment; however, the $280,000 received from the grant will help offset the burden of this major capital equipment expense.

    The Microfab Lab also recently acquired WYCO NT 3300 optical profiling equipment and a spin developer. The Optical Profiler provides a versatile profiler capable of submicron resolution on deep etch features. The Spin Developer allows Washington's companies greater control over development of extremely small features which would otherwise be difficult using batch processing.

    These two systems are currently installed and fully functional. Training on the equipment is available from professional laboratory staff. The New Bonder/Aligner Equipment is scheduled for installation in 2006.

    Related WTC links:

  • WTC Microfabrication Laboratory

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  • Building a Successful Public Laboratory Requires Planning and Vision

    The Washington Technology Center's (WTC) Microfabrication Laboratory is celebrating its tenth anniversary. Like any entrepreneurial venture, we experienced successes and challenges in achieving this milestone. It's how we faced those challenges and leveraged our successes over the last decade that has led this public laboratory to become a thriving regional center for research and innovation.

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    Think Big
    When launching an ambitious project like a public laboratory, two elements are critical. First, have a clear vision. Second, set a path for achieving this vision.

    When WTC opened its Microfabrication Laboratory in 1995, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) was beginning to gain attention as a viable technology with strong market potential. The 15,000 square-foot facility, the largest shared user facility in the Pacific Northwest, offered a space where academic and industry researchers could take advantage of leading-edge process equipment and small-scale prototyping.

    Washington had a strong research base in MEMS and companies were beginning to see the market potential of MEMS technologies. WTC capitalized on this potential by focusing the lab's capabilities around MEMS research and development. WTC also integrated MEMS into its existing programs, positioning it as emerging Washington industry and supporting MEMS projects through research grants.

    This diligent effort to chart a path for industry growth paid off. Washington has a robust MEMS industry cluster and the Microfab Lab is a fully-functional, self-supporting R&D; resource for researchers and engineers worldwide.

    Plan Long Term
    Long-term commitment is essential for operational success. It is not enough to simply ride on the coattails of an industry boom. In 2000, WTC tried to capture a share of the photonics market. It was believed that the Lab could attract photonics clients by "shoehorning" MEMS processes towards this effort without a large investment in equipment and infrastructure.

    This approach had short-term success. The lab benefited from the market surge and captured overflow from the shortage of available R&D; facilities. However, without the long-range planning needed to carve out a niche for this industry, business didn't hold once the hype subsided. Researchers migrated to facilities that had taken the time to fully invest in photonics and we missed an opportunity to distinguish ourselves as a leader in this industry.

    WTC is taking this to heart as the next generation of technologies emerges. Nanotechnology is the perfect example. The Washington Nanotechnology Initiative is underway, creating a framework for investing in facilities, education, job skills training, and industry growth. WTC is committed to making the Microfabrication Laboratory the center for nanotechnology research in Washington.

    Dare to Be Different
    The Microfabrication Laboratory opened its doors with an ambitious goal. Located on the University of Washington campus in Seattle, the lab set out to be a resource for academic research teams and industry clientele. This "hybrid model" didn't fit the typical mold of how a public facility should look and feel.

    Most engineers draw a distinction between academic research labs and commercial foundries. Academics tend to view the lab from the perspective of a facility. Their priority is access to equipment. They don't always understand the financial commitment required to run a lab of this magnitude. Industries see the lab as a resource. They are willing to pay user fees to have access to reliable "turn key" processes, thus avoiding hiring research staff or building facilities during early-stage development. We had to show our customers that a public laboratory could be both a center for cutting-edge scientific research and a resource for commercial product development.

    Champion Your Cause
    Managing a shared user space didn't come easily. WTC had to overcome stereotypes to achieve a collective vision of how the Lab would operate. Clearing these hurdles involved:

    1. A Shift in Mindset.
    Requiring academic researchers to embrace a user-fee operational model meant asking them to adopt a standard of practice foreign to academic research facilities. This change in perception took time. For industry clients, it meant getting them to see value in a collaborative environment beyond mere production and development.

    2. Management.
    It was important to hire engineers, technicians, and managers that understand what it takes to operate in the style of a commercial enterprise. This also opened up opportunities for contract work as skilled staff are available to do custom processes for clients outside the local area or who don't have the manpower to conduct the research on-site.

    3. Model of Operation.
    You can't be everything to everybody, but you can serve multiple customers successfully if your business plan is solid and your clients understand the benefits to them. It's critical to adhere to the best operational model for your facility. In our case, the rewards were clear: academic researchers and start-up companies working side-by-side creates one of the most exciting R&D; environments imaginable.

    Over ten years, WTC has followed its vision for the Microfabrication Laboratory to be a widely accessible resource for technology innovation. Through this legacy we have seen many entrepreneurial companies achieve market leadership and university research projects evolve into commercial-ready technologies. These achievements are "proof of concept" that with strong leadership, a clear mission and ongoing commitment a public laboratory can be a center of excellence for research and development.

    Related WTC links:

  • WTC Microfabrication Laboratory

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  • Nano-Revolution is Sparking New Trends in Traditional Process R&D;

    Most of us are familiar with the infamous saying, "you can't teach an old dog new tricks." While that may be true for many scenarios, it doesn't necessarily hold true for lab processing. It is possible to get your old equipment to turn out new materials by tweaking process parameters on existing tools.

    Currently, there is renewed interest in the academic world around the vapor-liquid-solid (VLS) growth mechanism for nano-scale semiconductors.

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    This mechanism was first described by researchers at Bell Labs in the 1960s who used it to explain the strange formation which was sometimes seen in thin film deposition reactors of thin wispy strands of semiconductors. These researchers understood that the deposition was brought about by the presence of metal particles in the reactors which would act as catalysts to the growth of the strands.

    Trends towards building and understanding components on the nanometer scale, particularly at the confluence of molecular biology and integrated circuit fabrication, has re-kindled interest in the VLS growth mechanism. Labs around the world are attempting to harness this method of growing high purity, single crystal semiconductor "nanowires" for diverse applications ranging from biomolecule identification to the growth of transistors.

    Recently, WTC's Microfabrication Lab has developed VLS growth techniques to form Silicon nano-cloth films. In this method, a silicon wafer is densely coated with tiny crystals of catalyst. The catalyst is formed through an ultra-thin film deposition followed by an annealing process to form discrete nano crystals of catalysis. After this, the VLS growth mechanism is performed inside a chemical vapor deposition reactor. The result is a dense cloth of silicon wires or fibers randomly intertwined. By selectively depositing a catalyst, it is possible to control where on the wafer the nanowires form, even to the point where a single wire can be grown. Work is being done to characterize this material as grown in the lab, and to develop a robust selective growth techniques.

    The material has incredibly diverse potential applications that take advantage of the incredible surface area to volume ratio, such as bio sensors. One of the problems in biomolecule detection is the ability to generate a sufficient signal to detect the presence of low concentrations of substances in small sample sizes. By having a higher surface area in a smaller space it is possible to increase signal while keeping noise constant, thus lowering the detection limit, even for incredibly small sample sizes.

    Researchers have begun looking into the use of these nano-semiconductors in the fabrication of high efficiency solar cells. Through in situ doping, it is possible to grow nanowires to form the pn-junctions which are at the heart of the solar cell. Together with the very high optical absorption of this material and the ability to fabricate high densities of junctions tailored to the full spectrum of solar radiation,, photovoltaic researchers are intrigued about the possibility of forming new types of high-efficiency, cost-effective solar cells with nanowires.

    There is also great interest in using this method to grow atomically sharp nanoneedles to be used as very fine instruments to probe the components of cells which are still living, or for imaging materials at the atomic scale. It may be possible to form conducting nanowires long enough to puncture a living cell, but small enough that they would be able to probe a single organelle, or image a single molecule.

    Ultimately, the WTC Microfab Lab's goal is to provide our customers with the tools they need to perform cutting-edge research. By developing new processes on our existing systems, we expand the breadth of what the lab has to offer and get maximum value from the equipment and processes we've already invested in. We keep costs low and avoid capital expenses of new equipment. So, in this case, it may just be possible to teach that old dog new tricks after all.

    Related WTC links:

  • WTC Microfabrication Laboratory

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  • AccessIQ -- 14K R&D;: Going for the Gold - Feb. 8, 2006

    February 8, 2006
    7 a.m. to 9 a.m.
    University of Washington Club
    University of Washington Campus, Seattle, Wash.

    These morning sessions, hosted by the Microfabrication Laboratory, are the perfect opportunity for industry engineers and academic researchers to discuss the latest R&D; trends in MEMS and nanotechnology. Our first session, "14K R&D;: Going for the Gold" will feature three companies as "case studies" on the innovative processes they have created for such applications as high aspect ratio plating, electroplating, and gold eutechnic bonding. Learn about the research techniques, equipment, and tools each team used to develop their process and take the opportunity to ask questions of each researcher as they share their best practices and lessons learned.

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    The registration fee for this event is $35.

    Related WTC links:

  • WTC Microfabrication Laboratory

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  • WTC Awarded Grant for New Lab Equipment

    The WTC Microfabrication Laboratory has been awarded a competitive grant from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust to go towards funding for a new Bonder/Aligner for the laboratory.

    This new equipment will open up new avenues of research for the Microfab Lab and allow Washington industry and academic engineers to see a significant improvement in process capability with respect to bonding. It will also allow the lab to increase the volume and customization of its contract lithography projects.

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    The grant was received in partnership with the Washington Technology Center, the UW College of Engineering, and Microvision, a Bothell-based company that has been a client of the Microfab Lab since 1998. The partners have all made financial and research commitments towards the equipment; however, the $280,000 received from the grant will help offset the burden of this major capital equipment expense.

    The Microfab Lab also recently acquired WYCO NT 3300 optical profiling equipment and a spin developer. The Optical Profiler provides a versatile profiler capable of submicron resolution on deep etch features. The Spin Developer allows Washington's companies greater control over development of extremely small features which would otherwise be difficult using batch processing.

    These two systems are currently installed and fully functional. Training on the equipment is available from professional laboratory staff. The New Bonder/Aligner Equipment is scheduled for installation in 2006.

    Related WTC links:

  • WTC Microfabrication Laboratory

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  • Looking Back at a Decade of Process Excellence

    The Washington Microfabrication Laboratory Provides Researchers with an Affordable Way to Create Custom Process Work for Cutting Edge Technology Solutions

    Ten years ago, the potential of MEMS to revolutionize semiconductor and advanced materials manufacturing created a buzz among technology researchers. Finding ways to integrate new micro-technologies into commercial operations was at the forefront of R&D; efforts worldwide. Access to facilities to conduct novel research and technology development and produce small-runs of prototypes topped the list of entrepreneurs' needs at the earliest stage of their growth.

    Washington Technology Center (WTC), the organization responsible for driving technology-based economic development in Washington State, saw MEMS' potential and what it could mean for the Pacific Northwest. In 1995, WTC opened a 15,000 square foot Microfabrication Laboratory in Seattle to provide a unique R&D; environment for MEMS research.

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    Here's a look back at the first ten years.

    A new standard of research
    WTC's Microfabrication Laboratory is the largest public Microfabrication facility in the northwestern region of the United States. The lab offers processes and tools for depositing, removing, patterning and characterizing materials at the micron level and serves both academic and industry clients.

    In its first year of operation, WTC's Microfabrication Laboratory client base was about 50 users. As of Spring 2005, the Lab has more than 260 registered users representing 55 university research groups and 44 private industry firms,
    from 13 U.S. states and Canadian provinces, and Washington is one of the top regions in the U.S. in MEMS technology. WTC attributes this success to three key selling points:

    Affordable Access: The Microfab Lab caters to smaller, innovative companies, providing them with a resource they otherwise could not afford in the earliest stages of their growth. Clients pay a monthly fee for unlimited access to the facility. Part-time and contract rates are also available. Cost savings can be substantial. One client was quoted $600,000 from a commercial foundry fora project. The same process using WTC's Microfab Lab was $150,000.

    Process Control: One of the top selling features of the Microfab Lab is that clients maintain full control of their intellectual property and processes. For companies with emerging technologies, it's crucial that they have the abilityto do the process development hands-on. Many fabrication facilities can't or won't accommodate this type of specialization. WTC's Microfabrication Laboratory does.

    One-Stop Shopping: The Microfab Lab allows users to do multiple, custom processes under one roof. The facility features equipment and processes in the areas of MEMS, Nanotechnology, Photonics and Microfluidics with process capabilities in photolithography, metrology, etching, thin film processing, high temperature processing and back end processing. These comprehensive services prevent researchers from having to contract with multiple labs or foundries which can be costly, time consuming and affect process consistency and control. Professional full-time staff are available to train clients on the equipment and perform contract work.

    One client summed it up perfectly when he referred to the Microfab Lab as a functional arm to their company's research division without the burdens of maintaining their own facility.

    The first ten years of the Microfabrication Laboratory's operations proved a monumental decade in opening doors for new MEMS technologies to enter the market. The Microfab Lab is marking this milestone with a 10th Anniversary Symposium on May 19, 2005 in Seattle. This event will feature presentations on topics related to academic and industry research, an overview of the Lab's capabilities and tours of the facility, and showcase of lab clients that have successfully launched products out of MEMS research.

    The symposium will also look at new opportunities in technology research, including nanotechnology, touted as the next revolution in miniaturization, and how the Microfab Lab will be preparing to be a center of innovation for this new enabling technology.

    What Clients are Saying about the Microfab Lab

    "Having access to fully-functioning fabrication resources through WTC is enormously valuable to us. The MicroFab Lab offers a controlled environment, which is critical, and we aren't burdened with building these facilities ourselves or dividing our time among labs that only provide a portion of the functionality. As a result, we were able to move to market faster with a more stable, reliable product."
    – Matt Nichols, Microvision

    "It makes economic sense for our company to take advantage of the equipment and resources at the Microfab Lab. The lab provides us with all the tools we need in one location and we can concentrate our capital resources on our company's growth."
    – Gregg Makuch, Neah Power Systems

    "When we go to a commercial foundry, they don't want to tell us details of the process they are doing. When we're at WTC, we can know every detail of the process. It's our process, we own it."
    – Andrea Tombros, PCB Piezotronics

    Related WTC links:

  • WTC Microfabrication Laboratory

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  • State Leadership Sets Stage for Nanotech Growth in Washington

    Scientific discoveries at the molecular and atomic level are beginning to fundamentally alter the way businesses will build and deliver products. Local government, research and business leaders realize that the stakes for Washington State are high. Many of our major industries -- aerospace, life sciences, energy, electronics -- are poised to see the earliest disruptive changes from nanotech within the next decade.

    To realize this potential, significant research and recruiting investments in nano-scale science and engineering development are essential.

    Washington Technology Center (WTC), the state's technology-based economic development agency, will launch the Washington Nanotechnology Initiative (WNI) at the Washington Technology Summit on April 8 at the Bell Harbor Conference Center in Seattle. WNI creates a framework for pursuing actions that foster the nano-preparedness of Washington's economy.

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    "Washington State has a solid foundation in nano research and Washington technology companies are already seeing the impact it has on market potential," says Lee Cheatham, executive director of the Washington Technology Center. "The goal of the WNI is to leverage nanotechnology to our state's competitive advantage. The results of which will be a stronger economy, increased capital investment in Washington companies, and more jobs," Cheatham says.

    The WTC has published a report outlining a six-step action agenda which will serve as the work plan for the WNI in the coming years. These steps include:
    * Establishment of bold new discovery programs in key industry sectors
    * Recruitment of high-profile nano scientists to our research and commercial organizations
    * Development of a collaborative, interactive nano business community with increased visibility and recognition worldwide
    * Creation of applied nanotech engineering development centers
    * Develop and fund integrated nano research at universities
    * Development of training programs to assure that our workforce has appropriate nanotechnology skills when needed

    Related WTC links:

  • Read the WNI Report [PDF]

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  • Facility Focus: What's New at the Microfabrication Laboratory

    Optical profiling equipment and training available
    The Microfabrication Laboratory is pleased to announce that it has recently acquired WYCO NT 3300 optical profiling equipment. This equipment provides a versatile measurement solution for nano-scale resolution on micromachined devices. This system is currently installed and fully functional and training on the WYCO is available from professional laboratory staff.

    New Laminar Flood Hood Improves Cleanroom Yield
    The Microfabrication Laboratory recently purchased and installed a new laminar flood hood in the cleanroom. The hood has improved air quality significantly and should be instrumental in reducing defects from airborne particles in the thin film processing area.

    Related WTC links:

  • WTC Microfabrication Laboratory

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  • Capabilities of Lab Help Client Attract Interest

    Success can come in many forms for small technology companies. For Zeus Semiconductor, an early-stage company working on silicon carbide (SiC) semiconductor technology, this success came in the form of acquisition by Advanced Power Technology.

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    Zeus had been a client of the Washington Technology Center's Microfabrication Laboratory since February 2002. Prior to being acquired by APT in September, Bruce Odekirk was doing research at WTC's Microfabrication Laboratory on the use of silicon carbide semiconductors for power components.

    While working for Zeus, Odekirk used the Microfab Lab facilities three to four times a week and did the process development in person on-site at the lab. Due to the cutting-edge nature of the technology, being able to have hands-on control of the process development was a critical factor and the main attraction for Zeus in deciding to house a portion of their R&D; activities at the Microfab Lab. According to Odekirk, similar facilities weren't equipped to handle the level of control needed for the type of R&D; that they were undertaking.

    WTC looks at this acquisition as a win as well. The work Zeus was able to conduct at the WTC facility played a role in making their technology attractive to APT.

    Odekirk concurs that the Lab's capabilities were a key factor in allowing Zeus to progress to a level in their technology development that did catch the attention of APT. "It was while working at WTC's Microfab Lab that we realized the real market potential for this technology was in power components," Odekirk explained. "We were able to successfully fabricate our first prototype," he added. "And the work we were doing was applicable to APT's technology needs in power electronics."

    Odekirk was retained by APT as director of silicon carbide engineering. He still works closely with Marc Vandenberg, former president of Zeus, who joined APT's management team as director of silicon carbide programs. While APT's facilities allow their engineers to do much of the lab work in-house, Odekirk noted that "The WTC Microfab Lab has some specialized capabilities that may be useful to the company in the future."

    Advanced Power Technology is a leading supplier of high performance power semiconductors used in the conditioning and control of electrical power for both switching and RF applications. APT's products are designed to power next generation high power systems for servers, computers, high capacity mass storage products, cellular base stations for telecommunications, and industrial applications such as advanced medical imaging systems, lasers, semiconductor process equipment, and arc welders, as well as military and aerospace power systems.

    The company has operations in Bend, Oregon, Santa Clara, California, Montgomeryville, Pennsylvania, and Bordeaux, France. The Bend, Oregon operation focuses on Discrete Power Semiconductor products.

    Related WTC links:

  • Zeus Semiconductor is a WTC client
  • WTC Microfabrication Laboratory

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  • Nanotechnology in the Pacific Northwest -- July 15, 2005

    July 15, 2005
    8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    Westin Hotel, Seattle, WA

    Washington Technology Center (WTC), Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER) and Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI) are co-hosting a daylong forum, Nanotechnology in the Pacific Northwest, during the 15th Annual PNWER Summit this summer in Seattle. This day-long conference is dedicated to exploring regional efforts and development trends around nanotechnology in the Northwest. The Annual Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER) summit is the largest regional gathering of elected officials, attracting more than 400 legislators from five U.S. states and western Canada. Come learn about the latest advancements in nanotechnology, opportunities for collaboration and strategic partnerships and local initiatives surrounding this emerging technology.

    Cost to attend the PNWER Conference is $395 before June 11, 2005 and $450 on June 12, 2005. Cost to attend just the Nanotech session is $185 before June 11, 2005. The price increases to $225 on June 12, 2005. Registration fee includes breakfast and opening plenary session by keynote speaker, Governor Christine Gregoire.

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    2005 Micro Nano Breakthrough Conference -- July 25-28, 2005

    Gathering to Build a Micro/Nano Tech Economy
    July 25-28, 2005
    University Place Conference Center, Portland, OR

    The 2005 Micro Nano Breakthrough Conference brings together leaders in research, education, technology development, industry, government, business, and venture capital investments to focus on development of micro and nano technology for new products. The conference attracts nearly 400 attendees to share ideas and findings, build collaborative networks, participate in working groups, exhibit commercial technologies and services, and help set agendas for developing new microproducts.The Micro/Nano Breakfthrough Conference is a collaborative effort of the Microproducts Breakthrough Institute, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnology Initiative (ONAMI), University of Washington (UW), Oregon State University (OSU), Portland State University (PSU), University of Oregon (UO), and Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU). Cost to attend the Micro Nano Conference is $150. Pre-conference courses on July 25, 2005 range between $50 and $100.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Micro Nano Breakthrough Conference

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  • WTC Welcomes Applied Micro Optics, Inc.

    Applied Micro Optics, Inc. recently became a new client of WTC's Microfabrication Laboratory. Founder and president, Hansuk Lee, begin working in the Microfabrication Laboratory in September. Applied Micro Optics is an early-stage company focused on micro-optics design and fabrication.

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    "When I decided to start a new venture, I was courted from companies all across the U.S.," Lee offered. "However, I was interested in staying in Washington. This is my home," he explained. Once Lee decided to start Applied Micro Optics, he thought about where he might set up shop to conduct his research. "I immediately thought about WTC and the Microfab Lab," says Lee. "It made good business sense for me at this stage in my company."

    Lee said it was a combination of factors that made the Microfabrication Laboratory a good starting place. He was familiar with the facility and its equipment and staff. "It's a very nurturing environment for a young company, Lee says. He also says the lab's environment feeds into his company's growth strategy as well. "WTC has programs that can connect me to funding resources when I'm ready to go for grants or financing," Lee explains.

    Lee plans to market Applied Micro Optics products to industries targeting high power semiconductor diode lasers and fiber-optic telecommunications and eventually develop and market micro-optics products that could be used in biomedical devices and in consumer electronics.

    Lee was also attracted by the flexibilities offered by the Microfabrication Laboratory. "The Microfab Lab allows me to have access to a full range of equipment on a monthly usage fee basis and I can do the work myself at the facility." WTC also has programs in place for shared equipment usage and purchase. This appeals to Lee as well. He has already worked with the lab to purchase and house a spin developer in the facility and hopes to be able to do more shared equipment purchase options in the future. The equipment purchase program works well in the lab because it is such a highly collaborative, highly innovative environment. "Right now, at this stage in my company's growth, it doesn't make sense for me to own a lot of expensive equipment or farm out my processes to various labs," Lee explains.

    Lee says he's pleased that the Microfabrication Laboratory was available for him during the earliest stages of his company's launch. "Being at the lab will allow me to simultaneously conduct R&D; and also conduct small scale production for clients in my target market."

    Related WTC links:

  • Applied Micro Optics is a WTC client
  • WTC Microfabrication Laboratory

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  • Fluke Hall is home to leading research labs; offers collaborative R&D; environment

    Where can you find publicly accessible, full service laboratory facilities dedicated to process development and production at the micro and nano level? Fluke Hall. This state-of-the-art building is located on the University of Washington campus in Seattle and managed by Washington Technology Center (WTC). WTC is a state organization that provides resources to academic researchers and entrepreneurial technology companies to encourage investment in R&D; and technology commercialization.

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    WTC Microfabrication Laboratory
    The main floor of Fluke Hall is dedicated to fully equipped laboratory facilities for the WTC Microfabrication Laboratory and the UW Center for Nanotechnology. In addition to these two user facilities, Fluke is also home to the Human Interface Technology (HIT) lab, the Genome Center, and WTC headquarters.

    Both the Microfab Lab and the Nanotech User Facility are used for academic and industry research and development and have spawned commercial applications in MEMS and nanotechnology. The labs represent millions of dollars of equipment and process capabilities and work in a collaborative manner, bringing researchers together to work on cutting edge R&D; projects.

    Fluke Hall also provides office space for start-up companies using the building's lab facilities. This helps these young ventures save overhead, get liberal access to equipment they use on a regular basis, share resources, and network with academic researchers and industry colleagues.

    For information about office space in Fluke Hall, contact WTC at (206) 685-1920 or info@watechcenter.org.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • UW Center for Nanotechnology
  • UW Genome Center
  • Human Interface Technology (HIT) Lab

    Related WTC links:

  • WTC Microfabrication Laboratory

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  • Microfabrication Laboratory showcases academic-industry collaboration

    WTC's Microfabrication Laboratory Open House attracted researchers from around the Pacific Northwest to view the latest prototypes and commercial products developed at this premier R&D; facility in Seattle. Engineers, chief technology officers, academic researchers, and industry executives flocked to Washington Technology Center's state-of-the-art facility to get an inside glimpse of the organization's Microfabrication Laboratory, the largest micro-technology R&D; facility in the Pacific Northwest.

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    More than 125 attendees from Washington and Oregon turned out to tour the lab February 26, 2004. The facility provides specialized equipment, trained personnel and other services for developing micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) -- miniaturized mechanical devices on silicon chips or wafers -- a trend that is revolutionizing the technology industry.

    Washington is home to a growing number of micro-technology companies. WTC is a critical partner in helping both new and established companies fabricate and test proprietary technology and prototypes in the earliest stages of development.

    "Having access to fully-functioning fabrication resources through WTC is enormously valuable to us," says Matt Nichols, Director of Communications for Microvision, a Bothell-based company that develops high-resolution displays and imaging systems based on proprietary silicon micro-mirror technology. "The Microfab Lab offers a controlled environment, which is critical, and we aren't burdened with building these facilities ourselves or dividing our time among labs that only provide a portion of the functionality," explains Nichols. "As a result, we are able to move to market faster with a more stable, reliable product."

    Microvision exhibited its Nomad Expert Technician System at the open house, a wireless wearable augmented vision display that allows technicians to view detailed service information at their point of task, head-up and hands-free.

    CombiMatrix, Intelligent Ion, Neah Power Systems, and TraceDetect also previewed products and prototypes developed at the Microfab Lab. Industry and academic researchers have shared access to the lab, which represent nearly $20 million in facilities and equipment. Clients can customize use of the facilities to best fit their needs, ranging from part time and contract use to full time R&D.;

    "We're pleased to offer a facility of this caliber to our industry and academic clients," says Lee Cheatham, Executive Director for Washington Technology Center. "WTC will continue to deliver resources and services that foster academic-industry partnership and contribute to the growth and economic strength of technology commerce in our state."

    Related WTC links:

  • WTC Microfabrication Laboratory
  • Microvision is a WTC client
  • CombiMatrix is a WTC client
  • Intelligent Ion is a WTC client
  • Neah Power Systems is a WTC client
  • TraceDetect is a WTC client

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  • Steering Committee to study nanotech growth in Washington

    Nanotechnology, the "science of the small," may be the next big thing for Washington state, and state lawmakers have set in motion the means to study the long-term economic impact of this technology in the state.

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    Washington Technology Center (WTC) is leading the strategy around the Nanotechnology Initiative. "Washington technology companies are already seeing the impact nanoscience has on market potential," says Lee Cheatham, executive director of the Washington Technology Center. "The goal of the nanotechnology initiative is to determine how to best leverage this technology to our state's competitive advantage. The results of which are a stronger economy, increased capital investment in Washington companies, and more jobs," Cheatham adds.

    Cheatham is one of the members of a Steering Committee, comprised of senior-level professionals from industry, academia and business tasked with moving the Washington Nanotechnology Initiative's goals forward.

    Washington Nanotechnology Initiative goals
    * Realistic strategies for getting the technology into the market;
    * Path to commerce through existing companies -- key is how it can improve processes;
    * Taking the technology out of the lab and into the marketplace.

    The Steering Committee met March 11, 2004 to begin work on the strategic plan which will outline objectives for examining the scope and magnitude of the nanotechnology market in Washington and recommend a targeted action plan for capitalizing on this opportunity. Results of the study will be announced in June.

    Nanotechnology has the potential to affect almost every aspect of our lives at the molecular and atomic scale -- as minute as one-billionth of a meter. The benefits of applying nanotechnology are numerous -- better healthcare; faster, smaller computers; more efficient energy production and storage; fuel-efficient automobiles and aircraft; more durable materials for clothing, housing, and consumer goods. The global market for nanotechnology is predicted to reach $1 trillion in the next ten years.

    U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), a long-time proponent of economic growth through the commercialization of scientific research, led the effort to create the Washington Nanotechnology Initiative, which advocates positioning Washington at the forefront of nanotech commerce. "Washington has all the resources needed -- intellectual property, world-class research institutions and strong entrepreneurial spirit -- to become a national leader in nanotechnology," says Sen. Cantwell.

    Steering Committee
    Lee Cheatham, Executive Director, Washington Technology Center
    Amit Kumar, President & CEO, Combimatrix
    Jim Kajiya, Director, Microsoft Research
    Patrick Ennis, Managing Director, Arch Venture Capital
    Richard McCullough, Dean,Mellon College of Science, Carnegie Mellon University
    Chris Anzalone, Partner, Benet Group
    J. William Rogers, Associate Director, Pacific Northwest National Laboratories
    Jim Severson, Vice-Provost, University of Washington Tech Transfer

    Related WTC links:

  • Washington Nanontechnology Initiative

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  • WTC service structure

    Looking forward to the new year, we are pleased to share some of the strategic goals and program outlines for 2004. In order to better serve the broad variety of businesses and entrepreneurs in need of support, we have outlined three service areas. They include: Business Resources -- including our Regional & Technical Services programs -- User Facilities, and New Industries Initiatives.

    Regional & Technical Services is comprised of WTC's grant programs, angel network and small business services. User Facilities refers to WTC's Microfabrication Laboratory. New Industries Initiatives currently focuses on the Northwest Energy Technology Collaborative (NWETC).

    This newsletter will be organized around these business lines as well as feature general WTC highlights or developments. We hope this new structure will give you a greater understanding of WTC's accomplishments and role in promoting technology economic development in Washington state.

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    WTC's Microfab Lab joins the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network

    The National Science Foundation announced in December 2003 that the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN) has been awarded to a 12-university team, including the University of Washington. Led by Stanford and Cornell, this 5-year contract provides $14 million per year (renewable for an additional 5 years) to provide an infrastructure of process capabilities to serve the nanotechnology research, process development, and characterization needs of universities across the nation.

    WTC's Microfabrication Lab is an essential component of the UW's role in the NNIN. The Lab enables process capabilities to nanotechnology researchers for creating a platform, device, or structure necessary for their work. Promoting industrial access to the NNIN is critical to the region's growing micro- and nanotechnology industry. The role WTC will provide will be to offer the addition of physical resources available through the Microfabrication Lab.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network
  • University of Washington Nanotech User Facility

    Related WTC links:

  • Microfabrication Laboratory

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  • Scanning electron microscope operational in WTC lab

    November 20, 2003 marked an important milestone in the Microfabrication Laboratory's history, as the AMRAY Model 3800 scanning electron microscope (SEM) became operational for the first time since it arrived at the WTC.

    Donated by Intel from their Ronler Acres R&D; site in Hillsboro, OR, the SEM can accommodate wafers up to 8" in diameter, and the stage can be tilted up to 45º for a true perspective view of processed MEMS devices, at magnifications up to 150,000X. The SEM also has an EDAX (energy-dispersive x-ray) system for chemical analysis, which will become operational in 2004. The SEM allows Lab users to view, inspect and characterize processed wafers without having to leave the cleanroom, and will be a valuable part of the facilities suite of test and measurement tools for the years ahead.

    Related WTC links:

  • Microfabrication Laboratory

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  • Microfabrication Laboratory recent equipment arrivals

    The capabilities of the Microfabrication Laboratory were strengthened as the result of two equipment donations from industrial sources:

    Intel SEM
    Intel has provided the Microfab Lab with an AMRAY 3800 scanning electron microscope (SEM) from their R&D; facility in Hillsboro, OR. The SEM can accommodate wafers up to 8" in diameter, and the stage tilts 45º to allow full scanning of processed wafers without repositioning. In addition, the SEM has an EDAX (energy-dispersive x-ray analysis) system that permits chemical identification of materials being imaged. The AMRAY SEM represents a valuable addition to the suite of inspection and characterization tools available in the Lab.

    Trion RIE
    Trion Technology has donated a Mini-Lock II reactive ion etching (RIE) system to the Lab. This plasma etching tool is a state-of-the-art version of the Lab's current Trion Phantom RIE system, and includes an inductively-coupled plasma (ICP) source to increase etching performance, a load lock to minimize the etch chamber's exposure to atmosphere, and an electrostatic chuck for secure wafer hold-down during processing. The new RIE will allow a new range of materials to be plasma-etched, at enhanced rates, and with improved precision. The system is expected to be on line in April.

    Related WTC links:

  • Microfabrication Laboratory

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  • New Microfabrication Laboratory Web site launched

    The Microfabrication Laboratory recently unveiled its updated and improved Web site: http://microfab.watechcenter.org/. New features include direct links to process and equipment capabilities, plenty of illustrations, and a descriptive format that addresses questions from the beginning MEMS researcher to the seasoned MEMS professional.

    Currently under development is an enhanced password-protected lab user section, which will enable users to:

    -- make, change or cancel equipment reservations.
    -- enroll in or cancel training.
    -- read and print all lab documentation.
    -- list all equipment the user is authorized to operate.
    -- order lab supplies.

    The Lab is expanding its business to a national audience. The Web site is the most effective tool for providing information to a broad technical audience.

    Related WTC links:

  • Microfabrication Laboratory

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  • SPIE executive director to speak at WTC's October 8, 2002 photonics workshop

    Don't miss "Lighting the Way," WTC's second workshop on photonics systems -- spanning optoelectronic materials, devices and systems!

    The market may be sluggish for the photonics industry, but that hasn't stopped the technical progress at companies and universities. The workshop will feature a keynote address by Eugene Arthurs, executive director of SPIE, one of the most widely known organizations representing the photonics community.

    Axel Scherer from CalTech, nationally recognized professor and researcher, will describe the development, fabrication, and applications for photonic bandgap structures. Speaking on the investment/business side of the photonics industry will be George Ungras, Adams Capital Management and David Tuckerman, CMEA Ventures. In addition, Larry Dalton will discuss the University of Washington's new NSF-funded Materials and Devices for Information Technology Research / Science and Technology Center.

    The workshop will be held at the DoubleTree Hotel in Bellevue on Tuesday, October 8, 2002. Join us to meet with other professionals for an update on the research and business issues that impact the photonics community.

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    Microvision works wonders in the Microfabrication Laboratory

    Imagine an airline pilot being able to view sectional maps and airport landing strip charts without having to look down at the instruments. Or a surgeon able to perform image-guided neurosurgery from an image overlaid into his natural field of view instead of looking up at a nearby monitor.

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    These revolutionary capabilities are made possible by a micro-miniature retinal scanning display technology called the Nomad™ Personal Display System, developed by Microvision, Inc. Spun off from technology developed at the University of Washington's Human Interface Technology Lab, the Nomad™ uses MEMS (micro-electromechanical systems) technology in a scanning chip that directs a tiny ray of light to transmit images and other information directly onto the wearer's retina. The sophisticated head-mounted display is comprised of a scanner with a one-inch screen, attached to a device like a miner's helmet. The wearer can see right through the scanner screen, which produces an image viewable even in daylight.

    Microvision, a Bothell-based company, develops and brings to market novel products that manipulate "information in the form of light," otherwise known as photonics. The company produces components and products that 1) output information -- such as displays, 2) capture information -- as with a camera or barcode reader, and 3) transmit or modulate information -- in the form of light in an optical fiber.

    Much of this exciting work is happening right in WTC's Microfabrication Laboratory. The company used the lab to develop the prototype of a video scanner for head-mounted displays and has moved into pilot production of the device. "WTC played a vital role in initial production and getting us to where we are today," says Kelly Linden, Microvision engineering manager who currently works in the lab four days out of five. "The Microfabrication Lab is a unique place where an outside company can work, using WTC equipment and facilities as an extension of itself."

    The relationship between Microvision and the Microfabrication Laboratory has been a reciprocally beneficial one. In its six years in the lab, Microvision has helped purchase specialized equipment as well as introduced processes and procedures. This has enabled lab staff to add process capabilities that can benefit other users.

    The company will continue as a lab user to refine the Nomad™ and develop other products. They recently partnered with Walsin Lihwa Corporation to develop low-cost manufacturing capabilities for the eventual mass production of key components of Microvision's microdisplay engine intended for consumer and other high-volume specialty applications. The worldwide market for displays is expected to grow from roughly $1.2 billion in 2001 to almost $5 billion by 2005.

    Related WTC links:

  • Microvision is a WTC client
  • Microfabrication Laboratory

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    Microfabrication Laboratory news

    Lab wins Telly Award, adds new process equipment

    WTC's Microfabrication Laboratory was notified in March 2002 that its Laboratory Orientation and Safety Training video was a finalist in the 2001 Telly Awards competition. Founded in 1980, the prestigious Telly Awards recognize excellence in non-network film and video production. The video, directed and produced by Carol Geertsema, UWTV Productions, in association with the WTC, demonstrates proper cleanroom practice, safe chemical handling, emergency response and other topics essential in providing a clean, healthy and safe working environment for the lab's staff and clients. A total of 11,114 entries were received in the recent competition.

    The lab's complement of equipment continues to expand. Trion Technology of Tempe, AZ has selected the Microfab Lab as the recipient of a new Mini-Lock II Reactive Ion Etching (RIE) system. This generous donation includes a 1500-watt inductively-coupled plasma (ICP) source, a vacuum load-lock and an electrostatic chuck with helium backside cooling to update the WTC's current Trion Phantom I RIE. When combined with the lab's Deep RIE system, this addition expands both the lab's process capability and capacity for specialized surface and bulk micromachining.

    In addition to the new RIE, the lab will soon be home to a new plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) system. Acquired under funding awarded to the UW's Microscale Life Sciences Center by the NIH's Human Genome Research Institute, the PECVD will allow UW EE Professor Karl Böhringer's research team to deposit thin films of low temperature silicon oxide, controlled-stress silicon nitride, and polycrystalline silicon in support of his research in biochip materials for genome analysis. The PECVD will be available to all lab users.

    Related WTC links:

  • Microfabrication Laboratory

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  • Attendees 'see the light' at photonics workshop

    October 30, 2001 marked the culmination of the initial year of the WTC's Photonics Systems Initiative, as more than 90 participants gathered at the DoubleTree Hotel in Bellevue for the first annual Photonics Workshop. The workshop was actually the fifth in WTC's series of workshops highlighting emerging areas of technology, with the first four centered on MEMS (microelectromechanical systems).

    Keynote speaker Phil Anthony, VP and General Manager, JDS Uniphase, and current IEEE Lasers and Electro-Optics Society President, addressed the current weak photonics market head on. The overall rate of technological progress and corresponding efficiency improvement/cost reductions seen in telecommunications are unsurpassed, and photonics will play a major role in continuing this trend. Overbuilt carrier capacity, including a high percentage of unused ("dark") fiber, and a conservative investment climate have resulted in the current downturn in the fiberoptic industry, but continuing demand for higher speed, wider bandwidth telecommunications networks will drive the market after the present readjustment settles out.

    Invited speakers Rod Alferness, Lucent Bell Labs, and Nasser Peyghambarian, University of Arizona Optical Sciences Center, reinforced the keynote speaker's assessment, adding that convergence of optical and data networking will accelerate the growth already seen, and place higher demands on the level of technical innovation needed in materials, devices and systems architecture.

    The research and development challenge set out by the invited speakers provided a natural segue to presentations by the university researchers who are addressing those technical needs via funding by WTC under its Photonics Initiative.

    The workshop moderator, Paul Burrows, PNNL, kept the day's pace lively and upbeat, particularly during the concluding interactive session that featured over a dozen presentations by industry and university photonics technologists.

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    Lab equipment additions and upgrades keep pace with increased user activity

    Sparked by continuing growth of its user base, WTC's Microfabrication Laboratory has addressed various potential bottlenecks in its process capabilities, resulting in the addition of several key pieces of equipment.

    On the facilities side, the high-purity water plant has undergone a three-fold increase in its production capacity for 18 Meg-ohm de-ionized water. Used by practically all lab users, DI water is the lifeblood for critical chemical etching and cleaning processes. In addition, a remote level sensor has been installed on the liquid nitrogen (LN2) tank to automatically order delivery of LN2 at pre-set levels via a dedicated phone line. Both of these facilities additions will provide an uninterrupted supply of high purity water and nitrogen to the lab.

    Equipment additions include a second Brewer Scientific CEE Model 100 wafer photoresist spinner, duplicating the CEE spinner currently in the lab. In collaboration with Microvision, Inc. (Bothell), the lab will add a Tencor P-15 profilometer. This instrument is several generations newer than the lab's present AlphaStep 200 profilometer, which is seeing heavy use. Both profilometers provide the capability to measure feature sizes for microfabricated structures, but the P-15 allows measurements down to 1 Angstrom resolution, with 7.5 Angstrom repeatability, over a 200 mm scan length.

    Additional equipment additions include a K&S; Model 780 High Capacity automated wafer-dicing saw, acquired by Microvision, Inc. and located in the lab's backend room. This diamond blade saw, used to separate individual die on processed wafers, is a valuable addition and backup to the lab's manual Disco wafer saw.

    Related WTC links:

  • Microfabrication Laboratory

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  • Washington Technology Center gathers photonics professionals for workshop

    For Immediate Release: October 24, 2001

    Seattle - "Photonics 2001: Wavelengths of the Future," the Washington Technology Center's fifth annual technology initiative workshop is set for Tuesday, October 30, 2001 in Bellevue.

    Photonics is the set of technologies used to generate and harness light. Photonics and related technologies have strong potential for future growth. These technologies will be impacting a wide range of applications, including medical and health care diagnosis and treatment, entertainment, information storage and computing, and the ever-expanding demand for higher speed and more bandwidth for telecommunications and computer services.

    The state of Washington has a growing number of companies pioneering these technologies, industries involved with image acquisition and display to optical storage and networks. Existing companies such as Boeing and Aculight will benefit from these technologies, as well as newer companies like Microvision, Lumera, and New Light Industries. Many of the technical challenges facing industry are forming the basis for research topics at the state's universities -- providing an excellent opportunity for Washington state resources to have a pivotal impact on the continued growth of this industry.

    This year's inaugural photonics workshop will bring some of the field's most recognized experts to the Seattle area, setting the stage for informative and stimulating presentations and productive interactions among industry and university professionals, all sharing a common interest in advancing the technical foundation in photonics and stimulating business growth in these areas.

    This year's workshop will feature:

    -- Phil Anthony, president of the Amplification Products Group for JDS Uniphase and president of IEEE Lasers and Electro-Optics Society, will be the keynote speaker. His presentation is entitled, "Photonics for the Long Haul -- Innovation and Realism."
    -- Rod C. Alferness, senior vice president of Lucent Bell Laboratories Optical Networking Research, is presenting a session on All Optical Networks.
    -- Nasser Peyghambarian, chair of Photonics & Lasers at University of Arizona's Optical Sciences Center, will speak on "Erbium-Doped Fiber Amplifiers."
    -- Presentations of current research funded by WTC's Photonics Systems Initiative.
    -- An interactive session for attendees to describe current work in photonics and technical challenges. Participants are invited to bring a set of viewgraphs for a 5-minute presentation.

    The workshop will be held at the DoubleTree Hotel, 300 112th Avenue S.E., Bellevue, Wash.; the registration fee is $125.

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    Microfabrication Laboratory news

    Silicon nitride process available on LPCVD

    WTC's Microfabrication Laboratory is now offering users a new process for thin film deposition of dielectric material. A silicon nitride (Si3N4) process has been brought up on the lab's Low Pressure Chemical Vapor Deposition (LPCVD) system. The LPCVD tool reacts process gases within a tube furnace to coat substrates with films of the desired composition and thickness.

    The silicon nitride process uses dichlorosilane and ammonia gases as sources for the silicon and nitrogen, respectively. In addition to offering a conventional Si3N4 (i.e., stoichiometric) process, the new system is capable of providing low stress silicon nitride films by adjusting the ratio of the process gases at temperatures near 800 C. Films with stress less than 600 megaPascals can be produced, which are useful for MEMS structures where flatness after processing is required.

    The silicon nitride process is the second capability to be added at the Microfab Lab on the LPCVD tool. Earlier this year, a low temperature oxide (LTO) process was commissioned to provide amorphous dielectric thin films of silicon oxide at temperatures in the range of 425 C.

    As with the other capabilities in the lab, training on the LPCVD system is available to interested users.

    Related WTC links:

  • Microfabrication Laboratory

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  • Microfabrication Laboratory news

    Deep Reactive Ion Etching System Arrives
    Due to be fully operational by the end of August, the Microfabrication Laboratory has added an Oxford Instruments PlasmaLab 100 ICP 180 system to its dry etching capabilities.

    Funding of over $500,000 for the tool--the latest in ion etching technology--comes from a variety of sources, including university departments and various companies involved with the Microfabrication Laboratory. The real advantage of this "Deep RIE" system is that it supports the Bosch process, a sophisticated technique for forming high aspect ratio microfabricated features in silicon--particularly deep, vertical channels with smooth sidewalls.

    An alternative to wet chemical processing, dry etching is a method of selectively removing material using a reactive plasma or ion beam to form complex microfabricated structures in substrates. It has significant application in forming MEMS (microelectromechanical) and microfluidic devices, which are gaining widespread use in aerospace, automotive, industrial, telecommunications, imaging, display, and medical applications.

    The Microfabrication Laboratory supports a full range of wafer fabrication processes, including diffusion, oxidation, metallization, photolithography, laser cutting, wafer dicing, packaging and characterization, in addition to wet and dry etching, all in a class 10,000 clean room environment. The facility is open to university and industrial users alike, and currently has over 130 registered users.

    The Deep RIE is an exciting addition to the growing array of microfabrication technologies available in WTC's Microfabrication Laboratory.

    Related WTC links:

  • Microfabrication Laboratory

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  • WTC's Microfabrication Laboratory is indeed fab

    WTC is home to a remarkable resource for Washington company and academic researchers -- the Microfabrication Laboratory. Located in Fluke Hall on the University of Washington campus, the lab is available on a user-fee basis for research, technology development and prototype product manufacturing in areas such as avionics, micro-optics, micro-fluidics, fuel cells, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), biomedical devices, and biotechnology.

    Opened in April 1995, the 14,000 sq. ft. facility has 8,000 sq. ft. of clean room processing space. Industrial use of the lab has increased by 70% since its inception, with a corresponding increase in revenue of 500%. A catalyst for much of this growth has been WTC's technology initiatives in MEMS and more recently, in photonics / optical systems. Since 1997, WTC has invested $1.5 million into funding MEMS research and building the lab's resources. It has become the only public use MEMS R&D; facility in the state. The recent addition of a Deep Reactive Ion Etcher -- a tool that can fabricate deep, narrow structures - will significantly expand the lab's capabilities.

    Companies can access the lab's equipment and staff to perform the full range of micro-machined product development.

    Other academic-based facilities prohibit their industrial users from performing any 'for-profit' manufacturing of products in their facility, i.e., companies can perform R&D;, but must use some other facility for their manufacturing. WTC does not put any such constraints on its users and, thus, is able to support the product cycle for a longer period of time -- from prototyping through pilot production. This is particularly valuable to small or startup companies who otherwise wouldn't have the financial resources to access facilities of this caliber.

    Currently, more than 15 companies and 120 individuals are using the facility for microfabrication R&D.;

    Significant new technologies have been developed in the laboratory over the past several years. For example, Microvision, Inc., a leader in imaging technologies, used the lab to develop a video scanner for head-mounted displays. This revolutionary way to display images and information promises to make possible cost-effective, high-performance miniature devices that provide personal displays for electronic and computing products in military, aerospace, medical, industrial, and consumer electronics applications. Redmond-based Micronics, Inc. created the prototype for an inexpensive, disposable microfluidic cartridge that is used to perform blood tests and other diagnostics. Just one of these "lab-on-chip" devices can potentially perform up to 20 different medical diagnostic tests using the same sample.

    Related WTC links:

  • Microfabrication Laboratory
  • Micronics is a WTC client
  • Microvision is a WTC client

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  • New WTC initiative helps Washington industry keep pace with the speed of light

    For Immediate Release: January 19, 2001

    Seattle - Washington Technology Center (WTC) has launched a new technology initiative that provides funding for research leading to the development of photonics systems products. Photonics, sometimes called optical systems, is the set of technologies used to generate and harness light. This initiative will stimulate the growth of Washington-based businesses that rely on innovation in these optical technologies.

    Commercial growth in photonics has exploded recently with the introduction of revolutionary new materials and devices, especially for high-speed telecommunications. These higher speed and wider bandwidth systems, medical imaging and display systems, and industrial sensors represent the current products driving this rapid commercial growth.

    "The optical component market is huge and we are still in the early days," said Scott Keeney, president and CEO of Seattle's nLight Photonics, a developer of high performance optical network components. "Bandwidth growth will demand continued improvements in optical components that are unparalleled in the history of technology."

    Washington State has a growing number of established and emerging companies that are capitalizing on these new business opportunities. Significant technical challenges remain-new optical materials, high-speed switching, novel sensors, and manufacturing techniques for very small devices. Leveraging specific areas of expertise at the state's universities provides an excellent opportunity for the Technology Center's investments to have a positive impact on the continued growth of this industry. Key WTC investments through the Photonics Systems Initiative will drive technological innovation and market growth for companies in the state, placing Washington State at the forefront of this rapidly growing field.

    "[WTC's initiative] …is very complementary to the strategic investments the UW has made to develop a center of excellence in photonics," says Alvin A. Kwiram, UW Vice Provost for Research. "The combined efforts of WTC and the UW should provide a solid base for major advances. The WTC investment is farsighted and timely, and provides an excellent example of the synergy between WTC programs and the initiatives at the research universities."

    Eight projects, led by researchers at the University of Washington and Washington State University, received funding from WTC in January totaling $396,000.

    "The creation of this Photonics Systems Initiative by WTC is absolutely visionary," said Alex K.-Y. Jen, a nationally recognized UW researcher in optical materials. "Funding from this initiative will greatly accelerate the research programs in photonics at both universities and make them the driver for rapid industrial development in the state of Washington."

    Alex Li, an associate professor of chemistry at WSU and a funding recipient, says, "WTC projects are filling the link between research in the universities and technology implementation in industries."

    The projects fall into the following four technology areas:

    All-Optical Devices
    Focuses on developing optical devices that will process light directly without the need to convert to electrical signals. Applications of this technology include telecommunications, all-optical computing, optical storage, and optical amplification.

    Optical Switches
    Includes handling, routing and directing data-carrying light signals - analogous to a conventional electrical switch.

    Micro-optic Fabrication
    Focuses on developing lower cost, rapid prototyping processes for manufacturing micro-optic components.

    Photonic Bandgap Structures (PBG)
    PBGs, or photonic bandgap crystals, are materials in which precisely engineered structures generate useful optical effects, including light emission, filtering and routing.

    Funding recipients:
    Professor Martin Afromowitz, University of Washington Department of Electrical Engineering
    Associate Professor Alexander D.Q. Li, Washington State University Department of Chemistry
    Assistant Professor Daniel Chiu, University of Washington Department of Chemistry
    Professor Alex K.-Y. Jen, University of Washington Department of Materials Science and Engineering
    Assistant Professor Younan Xia, University of Washington Department of Chemistry
    Research Scientist Eric Seibel, University of Washington Human Interface Technology Lab

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    WTC announces new technology initiative

    A new initiative -- Photonics Systems -- is planned for the biennium beginning in January 2001. The goal is to create a cluster of optical systems companies in the state. This initiative will build upon existing research programs and facilities at the state's universities. The technology areas to be addressed are:

    -- Optical Switches.
    -- All Optical Devices.
    -- Micro-optic Fabrication.
    -- Photonic Bandgap Structures.

    Three years ago, WTC created a technology initiative program to support emerging technology research that is broadly applicable to Washington companies. Expected to run for about four years with a WTC investment as large as $2M, the initiative's technical work is done through research projects awarded to researchers at the state's universities -- without the requirement of a company partner. The first initiative focused on microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technologies and has been a real success.

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    MEMS 2000 workshop set for October 9, 2000

    For Immediate Release

    Seattle - "MEMS 2000: Commercial Transition," the Washington Technology Center's fourth MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) Workshop is set for Monday, October 9, 2000 at the DoubleTree Hotel, 300 - 112th Avenue S.E., Bellevue, Wash.

    MEMS is the design, fabrication and integration of structures and devices at the micron scale. The small size makes devices faster, less expensive, and more reliable with higher precision, in addition to opening up applications that are not possible at larger sizes. Current examples of MEMS-based devices include automobile airbag sensors and ink jet sprayheads; future applications include in-vivo medical monitors, miniaturized scanning and display devices, optical switches and industrial sensor and control systems. Growth of MEMS opportunities continues at an accelerated pace. Market projections of $10 billion by the end of this year to $30 billion by 2004 are an indication of the potential for this far-reaching technology.

    The Washington Technology Center has supported MEMS research at Washington State University and the University of Washington for the past 4 years. Much of the technology developed is now finding its way into the private sector, hence the theme for this year's workshop-Commercial Transition. The workshop is one of WTC's key activities for bringing MEMS professionals in Washington State together for information exchange.

    This year's workshop will feature:

    -- Roger Grace, Roger Grace Associates, internationally recognized expert on MEMS markets, will be the keynote speaker. His presentation, "Commercialization Issues of MEMS: An Industry Report Card," will be of interest to business executives and investors, in addition to the technical audience.

    -- David Bishop, Director of MEMS Research at Lucent Technologies - Bell Laboratories, will present a tutorial on optical MEMS - a topic vital to those working in optical fiber communications systems and scanning / imaging technologies.

    -- CJ Kim, UCLA, will give a tutorial on advanced MEMS processing technology, covering bulk and surface micro-machining techniques, micro-scale mechanics and micromanufacturing

    The registration fee is $100.

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    MEMS'99 Workshop set for September 15, 1999

    MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) is the miniaturization and integration of electronic, mechanical, chemical, optical and / or fluidic functions to form devices that sense, diagnose, and respond to external conditions. Currently, the majority of MEMS devices are deployed in the auto industry (airbag accelerometers, anti-lock braking systems) and in the computer industry (inkjet printer heads and read / write heads). Commercial sales of MEMS devices are projected to grow 20–30% in the next few years, peaking at an estimated $11 billion by 2003. A key factor influencing this growth will be the dissemination of information on the MEMS marketplace to companies that can capitalize on it. WTC's MEMS'99 Workshop provides an ideal forum for this exchange. This year's workshop will feature:

    -- Insight on obtaining federal funding for MEMS R&D.;
    -- A preview of exciting, new applications in microfluidics, optical MEMS, and other devices.
    -- A forecast for the future of MEMS commercial applications.
    -- An overview of new equipment available to Washington industry.

    The conference will be held at the Aljoya Conference Center (formerly Battelle Conference Center) in Seattle.

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