Applied Materials up fund MIT's nanoscale lab enhancements
MIT, Applied Materials and the Northeast Microelectronics Coalition (NEMC) Hub have committed more than USD 40 million to add advanced nano-fabrication equipment and capabilities to the MIT.nano lab.
MIT.nano is Massachusetts Institute of Technology's centre for nanoscale science and engineering. It was conceived to fill the gap between academic experimentation and commercialisation. The partners say their collaboration will create a "unique open-access site in the US that supports research and development at industry-compatible scale".
More specifically, the equipment provided by Applied Materials will enhance MIT.nano’s existing capabilities to enable it to fabricate up to 200mm (8-inch) wafers – a size essential to industry prototyping and production of semiconductors used in a broad range of markets including consumer electronics, automotive, industrial automation, clean energy and more. Applied Materials is the world’s largest supplier of equipment for manufacturing semiconductors, displays and other advanced electronics.
The Northeast Microelectronics Coalition (NEMC) Hub, managed by the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MassTech), will allocate USD 7.7 million to enable the installation of the tools.
Maria Zuber, MIT’s Vice President for Research and E. A. Griswold Professor of Geophysics, said: “A brilliant new concept for a chip won’t have impact in the world unless companies can make millions of copies of it. MIT.nano’s collaboration with Applied Materials will create a critical open-access capacity to help innovations travel from lab bench to industry foundries for manufacturing. I am grateful to Applied Materials for its investment in this vision. The impact of the new toolset will ripple across MIT and throughout Massachusetts, the region, and the nation.”
MIT.nano is a 200,000 square-foot facility located in the MIT campus with pristine, class-100 cleanrooms capable of accepting these advanced tools. Its open-access model means that MIT.nano’s toolsets and laboratories are available not only to the campus but also to early-stage R&D by researchers from other academic institutions, non-profit organizations, government and companies.
MIT.nano expects the new equipment to come online in early 2025.