Corporate Partnerships Continue to Bring High-Value Nanomanufacturing Tools at ERC

Achievement date: 

The University of Texas at Austin’s Nanomanufacturing Systems Center (NASCENT), an NSF-funded Engineering Research Center (ERC), is collaborating with U.K.-based Emerson & Renwick and the Massachusetts-based Bruker Corporation to bring unique and high-value nanomanufacturing tools to the Center’s Nanodevice Manufacturability Fabrication facility.


The Center’s partnerships with Emerson & Renwick and the Bruker Corporation facilitate the manufacture of nanometer-scaled patterns on materials that become the basis for making semiconductor devices and other flexible electronics. The Center’s facility consists of a variety of nanofabrication capabilities and aims to make production of these devices less expensive.


The ERC has a partnership with engineering company Emerson & Renwick to jointly develop roll-to-roll (R2R) nanofabrication systems and processes. R2R manufacturing creates electronics on a roll of flexible plastic or metal foil, and is a key process for making more mundane products such as Scotch tape and paper towels. Emerson & Renwick upgraded a reactive ion etch tool, which can engrave a variety of inorganic materials and metals, enabling reliable pattern transfer to web-based substrates. The company also plans to deliver to the Center R2R and roll-to-plate nanoimprint lithography tools, capable of fabricating large area nanometer patterns.

The Bruker Corporation successfully installed at the Center a laser direct-write patterning tool (the SF-100 Lightning Plus) that can create a pattern with only a computer-generated image of the design, without hard or soft lithography tools. This technology enables template writing for R2R fabrication of flexible electronics.