As the lead institution, Northeastern will receive $4.7 million from NSF; much of the research associated with the project will be conducted at the George Kostas Nanomanufacturing facility on the 4th floor of the Egan Center, which is currently under construction.
Among the greatest challenges in nanotechnology is the ability to commercially produce devices that work at the nanoscale level, which is measured at one-billionth of a meter. If developed, these systems could catapult the field into a $1 trillion industry by 2015.
The NSF grant establishes the Center for High Rate Nanomanufacturing, which will be headquartered at Northeastern under the leadership of Ahmed Busnaina, the William Lincoln Smith Professor and director of the Nanomanufacturing Research Institute and the NSF Center for Nano and Microcontamination Control. The Center will develop tools and process to mass-produce devices aimed at fulfilling the promise of nanotechnology on a larger scale, a key component in advancing the technology. The center will accomplish this through high-rate/high-volume guided self-assembly of nanoelements, accelerating the creation of highly anticipated commercial products to enable the creation of an entirely new generation of applications yet to be imagined. At the same time, the Center will also assess the environmental, economic, regulatory, and ethical impacts of nanomanufacturing.