Cornell University's Harold Craighead will discuss the importance of nanofabrication for biology research as UD formally opens its new Nanofabrication Facility on Tuesday, March 8.

March 8: Grand opening

New nanoscale machine shop adds cutting-edge capacity to UD's toolbox


9:06 a.m., Feb. 11, 2016--Those who have not been schooled in this field of science and technology may need an analogy to put the University of Delaware's new Nanofabrication Facility into perspective.

The "Machine Shop of the 21st Century," as co-directors Matthew Doty and John Xiao call it, will enable work at the nanoscale, a scale so small it can't be seen with the human eye, or even a conventional microscope.

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To make something one nanometer wide, you would have to take one of their hairs and slice it into about 100,000 fragments, depending on the thickness of the hair. You’re going to need a smaller knife.

And that's where the UD Nanofabrication Facility comes in, with its ultra-clean workshop and the equipment and infrastructure to analyze materials, develop processes and manufacture devices at that scale. 

The new technology, housed in the Harker Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Laboratory, has many implications for research, industry and other innovative endeavors.

At grand opening events scheduled Tuesday, March 8, a pioneer in the field, Cornell University physicist and engineer Harold Craighead will discuss the evolution and promise of nanofabrication in a keynote address at 3 p.m. in Mitchell Hall. 

Craighead, former director of the National Nanofabrication Facility at Cornell and founding director of Cornell's Nanobiotechnology Center, studies such things as single molecule biophysics, chemical sensors, and the physics of nanoelectromechanical systems.

Immediately after the lecture, a ribbon-cutting ceremony and reception will be held at Harker Lab.

All events are open to the public and the campus community.

The co-directors of UD's Nanofabrication Facility are John Xiao, Unidel Professor of Physics and Astronomy, who specializes in spintronics, nanofabrication and magnetic materials, and Matthew Doty, associate professor of materials science and engineering, physics, and electrical and computer engineering, whose research focuses on nanostructured semiconductors.

Article by Beth Miller

Photo courtesy of Cornell University

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