Title : National Science Board Approves Creation of National Nanofabrication Users Network

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Title : National Science Board Approves Creation of National Nanofabrication Users Network Type : Press Release NSF Org: OD / LPA Date : November 22, 1993 File : pr9388 Lynn Simarski November 22, 1993 (202) 357-9498 NSF PR 93-88 National Science Board Approves Creation of National Nanofabrication Users Network The National Science Board, policy-making body of the National Science Foundation (NSF), approved on November 19 an NSF recommendation to set up an integrated network of nanofabrication facilities open to scientists and engineers across the country. The National Nanofabrication Users Network will encompass facilities at Cornell University, Howard University, Pennsylvania State University, Stanford University, and the University of California at Santa Barbara. The board recommended that $3.55 million be awarded to the network for fiscal year 1994, with total funding of up to $20 million over five years. Three NSF directorates--engineering, mathematical and physical sciences, and biological sciences--will support the network. An internal NSF committee, chaired by Linton Salmon, program director for solid state and microstructures in the engineering directorate, will provide administrative oversight. A network governing board, with representatives from the five universities as well as from industry, academia, and government, will direct the network's overall administration. A fast-growing field, nanofabrication is a critical "enabling" technology for a wide variety of disciplines. The network will help the nation remain at the forefront of many burgeoning research areas, a number of which have commercial applications. -more- -2- Researchers from a broad spectrum of disciplines--including microelectronics, micromechanics, physics, chemistry, biology, materials science, and optics--use the technology to create extremely tiny structures required for research. These structures can have dimensions as small as a nanometer--a billionth of a meter. (For comparison, a human hair is approximately 100,000 nanometers in diameter.) At these extremely small scales, structures can exhibit novel behavior, whether physical, biological, or chemical. They display quantum mechanical properties, opening up opportunities for new technologies--promising smaller, faster, and less expensive computers, for example, and structures for DNA analysis, useful in genetic studies. For 16 years, NSF has sought to meet researchers' needs by supporting a National Nanofabrication Facility at Cornell University, but the new network, recommended by an external panel of scientists and engineers, will greatly expand access to the technology across the United States. It will also open up the use of nanofabrication for diverse disciplines, including some new to the technology. The new network will provide facilities and equipment too costly for universities and most companies to support, as well as expert assistance for individual researchers from both academia and industry. Cornell and Stanford will offer a wide range of capabilities to outside users, while Howard, Pennsylvania State, and Santa Barbara will each provide specialized capabilities, such as novel materials and etching. An explicit goal of the network is to develop new educational outreach programs for nanofabrication science and engineering at all levels, including short courses and undergraduate research opportunities. -end- The National Science Foundation is an independent agency of the federal government established in 1950 to promote and advance scientific progress in the United States. NSF accomplishes its mission primarily by competitively awarding grants to educational institutions for research and education in the sciences, mathematics, and engineering. This and other information is available electronically on STIS, NSF's Science and Technology Information System. For more information about STIS contact the Publications Section at (202) 357-7861 and request the "STIS Flyer," NSF Publication #91-10, or send an E-mail message to stisinfo@nsf.gov (INTERNET) or stisinfo@NSF (BITNET).

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