Nanotechnology is the development and use of techniques to study physical phenomena and develop new devices and material structures in the physical size range of 1-100 nanometres (nm), where 1 nanometre is equal to one billionth of a meter. Nanotechnology impacts all areas of our lives. These include materials and manufacturing, electronics, computers, telecommunication and information technologies, medicine and health, the environment and energy storage, chemical and biological technologies and agriculture.
The impact of nanotechnology on the field of electronics is far reaching. Although advances in silicon technology continue to revolutionize micro/ nanoelectronics, there are cases where non-Si device and component technologies provide superior performance. With modern material growth techniques, it is possible to grow and fabricate multilayered nano-structures and devices comprising of different materials with nanoscale thickness. Further, nanotechnology-enabled sensors are providing new solutions in physical, chemical and biological sensing that enable increased detection sensitivity, microsystems integration capability and portability for wide variety of health safety and environmental assessments.
Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) has taken several major initiatives for the promotion of Nanoelectronics research and innovation in the country. Major Nanoelectronics Centres of international standards have been established at premier institutes in the country. The state-of-the-art nanofabrication facilities at these Centres have become very popular both in India and abroad. Also, the Indian Nanoelectronics Users Programme (INUP) initiated by DeitY is being implemented at Centre of Excellence in Nanoelectronics (CEN) at IISc and IIT Bombay and has provided a great opportunity for R&D community all over the country for accessing state of the art nanofabrication facilities for undertaking research and skill development in Nanoelectronics. About 400 researchers are being imparted hands-on training in Nanofabrication at these centres every year. The research activities have so far resulted in a large number of research publications and significant number of innovations for which patents have been filed.
Some of the technologies developed at the CENs have been licensed to a few start-up Indian companies in India. Apart from this, the CENs have worked closely with national laboratories for developing several technologies for strategic applications utilizing the facilities created under DeitY’s initiative. The centres have also started interactions with industry for developing new technologies and products for large scale manufacturing & commercialization. The focus of Nanotechnology Initiatives Division has been towards development of an eco-system for semiconductor manufacturing in India through cutting edge research in nanoelectronics, developing products/ devices for meeting the societal requirements in the country and creating world class fabrication facilities at Nano level.
Following are the thrust areas identified by the Working Group of Nanotechnology:
i. Post Moore Electronics beyond 10 nm
ii. Sensors (health, agriculture, security etc.)
iii. Organic Electronics
iv. Computational Nanoelectronics
v. Setting up prototyping and incubation facilities for a range of devices/products