The Nanotechnology Initiatives Programme of DIT has been concentrating on institutional capacity building, infrastructure for Research and Development and human resource development in the area of nano-electronics towards making India a front runner in this revolutionary area. This includes creation of Nanoelectronics Centres, providing leadership, access to professional expertise, training and development, supporting collaborations etc. The following are some of the initiatives in this direction:
Centres of Excellence in Nanoelectronics
Two nanoelectronics centres have been established at IIT Bombay and IISc, Bangalore. These centres have become Centres of Excellence in Nanoelectronics and are attracting International and National attention. These centres are also attracting experts and funding from other sources including industry. The facility of IIT Bombay and IISc, Bangalore are available for use by all nanoelectronics researchers in the country through Indian Nanoelectronics User Program (INUP) apart from the use by faculty and researchers of IIT Bombay and IISc, Bangalore. The Centres at IIT Bombay and IISc are concentrating on development of nano-systems for healthcare and environmental monitoring, development of organic and biopolymer devices, GaN devices, acoustic sensors, magnetic materials for LC resonators, ferroelectrics for FRAMs and phase shifters etc.
Development of MBE Cluster Tools for the epitaxial growth
A large project has been recently initiated to create MBE cluster tool based epitaxial nano-semiconductor infrastructure facility for high performance RF/Microwave compound semiconductor heterostructure nano-devices on silicon for common user access. This project concentrate on developing Ge rich SiGe process on Si, Arsenide process (GaAs) on Si, Phosphide process (InP) on Si and Nitride process (GaN) on silicon. This project is likely to grow as Nanoelectronics Centre in due course.
Non-silicon based nano fabrication and nanoscales devices
A large project has been initiated recently at IIT Delhi for creating a centre of nanoelectronics to primarily work on non-silicon based nano technology. This will concentrate largely on Nanomagnetics, Nanophotonics, Nanophotovoltaics, Nanoelectronics, Nanomechanics, Biosensors and Mesoscale Devices.
Nanoelectronics Centre for Nano-Electro-Mechanical Systems (NEMS) and Nanophotonics
A Centre for Nano-Electro-Mechanical Systems (NEMS) and Nanophotonics is being created at IIT Madras for carrying out R&D activities and manpower development in this area . The R&D focus at this centre is on development of Near-Field Ultrasonic Nano-scopy(NFUN), RF MEMS based Blade resonator, Silicon on Insulator(SOI) Nanophotonics components, Nanophotonics components based on GaAs/AlGaAs, Fourier Transform Spectrometer(FTS) and Silicon/silicon nitride nanoresonator & nanoporous membrane based particle sensor for Biomolecular Detection.
In the area of nano technology, the challenges include measurement of nano dimensions, nano electrical properties et al. To meet this requirement, calibration facilities for the electrical parameters namely nanovolt, nano-scale current, nano-scale resistance and nano-scale charge have been developed and established at National Physical Laboratory to serve as a national facility.
Centres of Excellence in Nanoelectronics Phase II
The phase I project of Centres of Excellence in Nanoelectronics has been successfully implemented at IISc, Bangalore and IIT Bombay and based on this, Phase II has been initiated with the objective to consolidate, augment and maintain the national centers of excellence in nanoelectronics and to undertake basic and applied research in the emerging field of nanoelectronics. The project focuses on research in frontier areas of nanoelectronics, technology generation, closer interaction with industries for commercialization, and scaled up effort in high quality R&D manpower generation. The main thrust of Phase II is to accelerate research and development activities in new areas of nanoelectronics, including nano-materials and nano-structures for photovoltaics, neuroelectronics, futuristic memory (charge trap and nano-crystal flash memories) and logic devices (tunnel FETs, FinFETs, molecular electronics, and spintronics), micro and nano sensors (cantilever, optical and polymer based), integrated sensor systems, and a critical mass of highly trained manpower to propel these areas.
Transferred-arc Plasma Generation System
For applications like production of ceramics, a process capable of producing large quantities of nano particles is necessary. A Transferred-arc plasma generation system has the capacity to produce nano particles at the level of Kg/hour that is needed for industrial scale production. For such huge quantities a Transferred Arc Plasma Reactor (TAPR) (as shown in the picture above) has been installed and commissioned at C-MET, Pune for large-scale generation of nano-sized metals, metal oxides and metal nitrides.
Development of III/V Compound based Quantum Dots Technology
The state-of-art facility for the development of III/V Compound based Quantum Dots for the development of fundamentally new devices for single photon sources and detectors is being created at IISc, Bangalore
Facility for the growth and characterization of Single Wall Carbon Nanotubes
The facility for the growth and characterization of Single Wall Carbon Nanotubes is being created at Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi.
Dip-Pen-Nano writing (DPN) based nano-patterning facility
Dip-Pen-Nano writing (DPN) based nano-patterning facility has been setup at CEERI, Pilani. The DPN lithography facility will serve as a powerful nanofabrication tool in a number of applications such as Biosensor Arrays, Photonics and Nano-circuitry.
Development of Bio-Nano Sensors
A state-of-art facility and multidisciplinary expertise has been created for development of bio-nano sensors for healthcare and agriculture application at CSIO. Chandigarh.
Indian Nanoelectronics Users Program (INUP)
The Department has initiated a unique joint major project entitled "Indian Nanoelectronics Users Program(INUP)" at IIT Bombay and IISc Bangalore. The objective of this project is to facilitate and support generation of expertise and knowledge in nanoelectronics through participation and utilization by external users of the facilities established at the Nanoelectronics Centres at IISc and IIT Bombay.
The major highlights of the project include the following: Imparting a hands-on training in nanoelectronics, assistance in research by enabling execution of work of external users at these centres, collaborating with research teams from other Indian centres to develop joint programs in nanoelectronics, provide a platform to researchers in Naoelectronics to come together and benefit from complimentary expertise and conduct regular workshops for a wider dissemination of knowledge in Nanoelectronics.
In addition to the INUP, human resources are being created in all the R&D projects under this programme.