Photonics Center to launch NanoPhototonics Laboratory

Boston 22 March 2004The Photonics Center at Boston University has commenced construction of a new, $1,5 million-dollar NanoPhototonics Laboratory, scheduled to open this September, 2004. The unique facility will enable engineers and developers from different industries and areas of specialization to integrate advances in nanophotonics, nanobiosystems, and nano-electromechanical systems (NEMS) into application focused platforms.


Once operational, the NanoPhototonics Laboratory will be available for joint product development partnerships with government agencies and corporations, as well as the Center's Business Accelerator companies. The new facility, which will be managed by Photonics Center Systems Engineer Dr. Ze'ev Feit, is expected to produce a number of breakthrough applications in the fields of homeland security, medical diagnostics, and nanoscale sensory and imagery systems.

"The collaboration between fields in this facility will allow us to develop the kind of platforms that right now we can only dream of", stated Photonics Center Professor, Dr. Bennett Goldberg, who will be a principal investigator at the facility. "Nanoscience is such a young field of study that there are virtually no off-the-shelf tools that researchers can use. This laboratory will be at the forefront of developing these tools."

The 1000-square-foot NanoPhototonics Laboratory will feature ultra-clean Class 100 workstation enclosures. The lab will consist of both permanent and revolving project workstations, which will allow for continuous research across a broad spectrum of fields, as well as providing space for longer-term specialized projects.

Other unique capabilities of the NanoPhototonics Laboratory will include:

  • Nanomaterials characterization and qualification for advanced processes.
  • Nanoscale imaging of single molecules and subcellular processes.
  • Integration systems for atto-gram measurement of biological species in nanomechanical, nano-electric, and nanophotonic detection platforms.
  • Dip-pen and cantilever-based nanolithography robotics for the precise positioning of biological and biochemical binding agents.

"The NanoPhototonics Laboratory will provide the tools and capabilities to effectively push nanoscience and nanotechnology research in the direction of commercial opportunities", stated Dr. Donald Fraser, Director of the Photonics Center at Boston University. "We fully anticipate partnering with a number of corporations and government agencies to co-develop and accelerate these nanotech opportunities into real-world applications and products."

Based in Boston, Massachusetts, the Photonics Center at Boston University identifies and develops technologies based on the practical application of light. Through a jointly managed programme with Beacon Photonics, the Photonics Center hosts a Business Accelerator with the mission of enabling emerging photonics technology companies to grow from idea to commercialization with greater speed and success.

The Center provides an entrepreneurial environment that includes 20 laboratories, workspace for up to 20 start-up companies, and access to a range of equipment worth in excess of $40 million. To date the Center has started and/or accelerated 17 companies that have raised a combined total of nearly $200 million in outside venture capital and seed financing.

Leslie Versweyveld

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