MNC News

The Nano Center is a hub of innovation. Stay up to date with the Center's latest updates and events.

The University of Minnesota’s Microelectronics Web Site Launches

The University of Minnesota is home to leading semiconductor research, particularly in sensors, materials science, nanotechnology, spintronics, and an area called 3D heterogeneous integration — which allows the integration of analog and digital circuit blocks with greater speed and lower power consumption. Today, the University announced the launch of a new website to showcase its efforts in semiconductor and microelectronics research and education, The new website will highlight microelectronics-related work at the U of M and serve as a point of contact for interested collaborators. 


A computer chip with blue lights

Steven Koester named Chief Semiconductor Officer

The Nano Center's director Dr. Steven Koester was just named the University of Minnesota's first Chief Semiconductor Officer. 

Dr. Koester was recently interviewed in this week's Star Tribune to discuss the broader importance of the semiconductor industry and the need for more coordination amongst various private and public players in the semiconductor industry. We have included some key excerpts from his interview below:


Why is this important for the University of Minnesota?

"It's important because I think there needs to be some high-level coordination for all of the semiconductor innovation that's happening, both at the university and in the entire state of Minnesota. The Twin Cities has a huge amount of semiconductors here. We can grow as a semiconductor hub.

The CHIPS and Science Act has a significant amount of funds that's intending to boost both domestic semiconductor manufacturing and R&D in the United States. So there's a lot of funding opportunities. It's seeding a lot of activity.

My position is intended to really try to provide that kind of coordination between academia, industry, state and federal governments to try to enhance the ecosystem that we have here in Minnesota."


Companies could use these?

"Some of my work is currently funded by Intel. They're interested in a novel semiconductor called tungsten diselenide, which has the potential to replace silicon. To replace it is a monumental task. But we're reaching the point where you just can't make transistors any smaller using silicon.

There's actually some activity that's of interest to industry where you would actually replace silicon with another material that can be made much thinner than silicon. If you can make the material thinner, you can make the transistor smaller."

What is being made at the Nano Center?

"You can kind of think of it as a prototyping facility for very advanced concepts in really a wide range of technologies. It can be semiconductors, but it could be in a wide variety of fields: magnetics, spintronics, microfluidics, sensors. A whole range of different technologies can be done in the Nano Center. We have capabilities that allow you to do state-of-the-art prototypes. Mainly what we're doing is supporting research."


Read the full article at the link below

Steven Koester is the chief semiconductor officer at the University of Minnesota thanks to his extensive research on semiconductors.

Nanocenter Research News: Inkjet Resistors

Scalability is a major struggle when working at the nanoscale since devices must be incredibly precise and it is often difficult to mass produce nanoscale parts. Researchers at the Nano Center have published a new paper examining the use of inkjet printing to cheaply and quickly create resistors for nanoscale circuits.


The researchers used a technique called Self-aligned Capillarity-Assisted Lithography for Electronics (SCALE) to inkjet print resistors onto a flexible substrate that can be manipulated before printing to help shape the resistors.


The result waspoly(3,4-ethylene dioxythiophene):poly(styrene sulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS)-silver resistors with high bend resistance and functionality rate. These advances in manufacturing are critical to making quantum applications a reality!


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