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$3M Grant Establishes Advanced Nanomanufacturing Cluster for Smart Centers and Materials (CSSM)

The Mass­a­chu­setts Tech­nology Collaborative’s Col­lab­o­ra­tive Research and Devel­op­ment Matching Grant Pro­gram awarded a $3 million grant to Northeastern to estab­lish the Advanced Nanoman­u­fac­turing Cluster for Smart Sen­sors and Mate­rials, or CSSM, which com­prises research uni­ver­si­ties and pri­vate man­u­fac­turing companies.

Advanced Nanomanufacturing has vast potential to advance con­nected technologies, known as the internet of things, and rev­o­lu­tionize the sensing industry. This includes poten­tial com­mer­cial appli­ca­tions such as high- precision miniature wireless sen­sors used to mon­itor pre­ma­ture babies in hos­pital neonatal units, wearable sensors for health and fitness that tracks biomarkers such as glucose, lactate or other biometrics, and sensors that track water quality.

The ini­tia­tive will leverage Northeastern’s inno­v­a­tive Nanoscale Offset Printing System, or NanoOPS, a man­u­fac­turing tech­nology pio­neered by the College’s NSF Center for High- Rate Nanoman­u­fac­turing (CHN), led by Ahmed Bus­naina University Distinguished Professor and the William Lin­coln Smith Chair in the Col­lege of Engi­neering. NanoOPS can print nanoscale sen­sors and devices as small as 20 nanometers—more than 10,000 times thinner than a human hair—on a variety of sur­faces, and 100 to 1,000 times faster than cur­rent ink jet- based elec­tronic and 3- D printing.

Part of the new funding will be used to establish infrastructure for mate­rials char­ac­ter­i­za­tion and testing smart sensor pro­to­types, and to build generation 2 and generation 3 NanoOPS with enhanced capa­bil­i­ties to the insti­tute, including the ability print on any surface. The grant is being matched by nearly $11 mil­lion in out­side funds through this part­ner­ship between acad­emia, industry, and government.

In collaboration wtih:

Chesterton, DIC Corporation, DRAPER, FLEX, GE, MOXTEK, NASA, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Renesas Electronic, Milara, NBMC, Rogers Corporation, Tufts University, University of Massachusetts Boston and U.S. Air Force.

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