Nanosystems Engineering Facilities
Over the past decade, Louisiana Tech University has established a reputation for promoting interdisciplinary research in the areas of biomedical engineering, micromanufacturing, and nanotechnology. A significant amount of research facilities and resources have been devoted to these efforts on this campus. The proposed program will take full advantage of these investments and provide students a state-of-the-art environment in which to further their education. The Louisiana Tech University Institute for Micromanufacturing (IfM) is an integrated nanomanufacturing and micromanufacturing research and development facility (valued in excess of $50M), dedicated to micro/nano scale technologies and systems research, education, and commercialization. The resources available in this facility (summarized here and detailed in the Appendix on facilities) provide a unique learning environment that will provide a wide variety of fabrication and processing skills to students. The Institute, which has over $13M in recently completed or current research grants, is dedicated to the realization of commercially viable micro and nanosystems, contributing to the economic infrastructure of Louisiana and the nation. The Institute is closely associated with all science and engineering programs. Over 40 faculty and postdoctoral scholars from a wide variety of disciplines are associated with the Institute, which also has a support staff of 15, including research engineers and specialized technicians. Approximately 150 graduate students and 30 undergraduate students currently work in the IfM.
The laboratory facilities within the IfM provide a full suite of micro and nanofabrication processing capabilities (e.g., X-ray, and optical lithographies, bulk and surface micromachining, and layer-by-layer nanoassembly processing), and a comprehensive set of measurement and characterization tools. The nanomanufacturing capabilities include, nanoassembly techniques (layer-by-layer assembly, molecular recognition-based self-assembly, self-assembled monolayers, nanoassembly by step-wise polymerization), nanopatterning techniques (X-ray lithography, nanoimprint lithography, molecular imprinting), electroless deposition techniques, and protein nanoengineering techniques (computer-aided peptide design, automated abiotic peptide synthesis, biotic peptide synthesis in host organism). The measurement and characterization tools include, TEM, SEM, AFM, XPS, confocal microscope, ultrafast tunable NIR laser for two-photon microscope, and various other tools. The micromanufacturing capabilities include, lithographic techniques (optical lithography, X-ray lithography), material deposition techniques (LPCVD, PECVD, sputtering, e-beam evaporator, electro-deposition), material etching techniques (RIE, ICP, wet etching), material doping, oxidation and annealing techniques (thermal diffusion, thermal oxidation, rapid thermal annealing), and alternative microfabrication techniques (ink-jet printing, hot embossing, micro milling, and focused ion beam). The modeling and simulation capabilities include nanotechnology and biotechnology modeling and simulation software (e.g. InsightII, CHARMm, DeCipher, Ludi), microfabrication and microelectronics TCAD (e.g. TSUPREM-4, MEDICI, TAURUS), and microsystems CAD (e.g. MEMCAD, ANSYS, FLUENT). The IfM services include, research and development, foundry services, testing and measurements, modeling and simulation, and educational and technical training.
Micro/Nanosystems Teaching Laboratory - In 2003, the college established a micro/nanofabrication teaching laboratory in the primary engineering teaching building on campus. These initial funds were used to purchase basic bulk micromachining and inspection equipment such as UV exposure stations, wet etching stations, fume hoods, QCM, a thermal evaporator, microscopes, lab hardware, etc. The lab also has an AFM/STM instrument dedicated to instructional use. The laboratory exists primarily to support the new B.S. in Nanosystems Engineering degree and during the summer quarter to support a microfabrication laboratory course for master's students.