Tag Archives: SUNY

Book announcement: Atomistic Simulation of Quantum Transport in Nanoelectronic Devices

For anyone who’s curious about where we go after creating chips at the 7nm size, this may be the book for you. Here’s more from a July 27, 2016 news item on Nanowerk,

In the year 2015, Intel, Samsung and TSMC began to mass-market the 14nm technology called FinFETs. In the same year, IBM, working with Global Foundries, Samsung, SUNY, and various equipment suppliers, announced their success in fabricating 7nm devices. A 7nm silicon channel is about 50 atomic layers and these devices are truly atomic! It is clear that we have entered an era of atomic scale transistors. How do we model the carrier transport in such atomic scale devices?

One way is to improve existing device models by including more and more parameters. This is called the top-down approach. However, as device sizes shrink, the number of parameters grows rapidly, making the top-down approach more and more sophisticated and challenging. Most importantly, to continue Moore’s law, electronic engineers are exploring new electronic materials and new operating mechanisms. These efforts are beyond the scope of well-established device models — hence significant changes are necessary to the top-down approach.

An alternative way is called the bottom-up approach. The idea is to build up nanoelectronic devices atom by atom on a computer, and predict the transport behavior from first principles. By doing so, one is allowed to go inside atomic structures and see what happens from there. The elegance of the approach comes from its unification and generality. Everything comes out naturally from the very basic principles of quantum mechanics and nonequilibrium statistics. The bottom-up approach is complementary to the top-down approach, and is extremely useful for testing innovative ideas of future technologies.

A July 27, 2016 World Scientific news release on EurekAlert, which originated the news item, delves into the topics covered by the book,

In recent decades, several device simulation tools using the bottom-up approach have been developed in universities and software companies. Some examples are McDcal, Transiesta, Atomistic Tool Kit, Smeagol, NanoDcal, NanoDsim, OpenMX, GPAW and NEMO-5. These software tools are capable of predicting electric current flowing through a nanostructure. Essentially the input is the atomic coordinates and the output is the electric current. These software tools have been applied extensively to study emerging electronic materials and devices.

However, developing such a software tool is extremely difficult. It takes years-long experiences and requires knowledge of and techniques in condensed matter physics, computer science, electronic engineering, and applied mathematics. In a library, one can find books on density functional theory, books on quantum transport, books on computer programming, books on numerical algorithms, and books on device simulation. But one can hardly find a book integrating all these fields for the purpose of nanoelectronic device simulation.

“Atomistic Simulation of Quantum Transport in Nanoelectronic Devices” (With CD-ROM) fills the chasm. Authors Yu Zhu and Lei Liu have experience in both academic research and software development. Yu Zhu is the project manager of NanoDsim, and Lei Liu is the project manager of NanoDcal. The content of the book is based Zhu and Liu’s combined R&D experiences of more than forty years.

In this book, the authors conduct an experiment and adopt a “paradigm” approach. Instead of organizing materials by fields, they focus on the development of one particular software tool called NanoDsim, and provide relevant knowledge and techniques whenever needed. The black of box of NanoDsim is opened, and the complete procedure from theoretical derivation, to numerical implementation, all the way to device simulation is illustrated. The affilicated source code of NanoDsim also provides an open platform for new researchers.

I’m not recommending the book as I haven’t read it but it does seem intriguing. For anyone who wishes to purchase it, you can do that here.

I wrote about IBM and its 7nm chip in a July 15, 2015 post.

A new nanoparticle—layered* like an onion

The new nanoparticle comes courtesy of an international collaboration (US, China, Sweden, and Russia. A Nov. 10, 2015 University of Buffalo news release (also on EurekAlert) by Charlotte Hu describes the particle and its properties,

A new, onion-like nanoparticle could open new frontiers in biomaging, solar energy harvesting and light-based security techniques.

The particle’s innovation lies in its layers: a coating of organic dye, a neodymium-containing shell, and a core that incorporates ytterbium and thulium. Together, these strata convert invisible near-infrared light to higher energy blue and UV light with record-high efficiency, a trick that could improve the performance of technologies ranging from deep-tissue imaging and light-induced therapy to security inks used for printing money.

Here’s an artist’s representation of the new nanoparticle,

An artist’s rendering shows the layers of a new, onion-like nanoparticle whose specially crafted layers enable it to efficiently convert invisible near-infrared light to higher energy blue and UV light. Credit: Kaiheng Wei Courtesy: University of Buffalo

An artist’s rendering shows the layers of a new, onion-like nanoparticle whose specially crafted layers enable it to efficiently convert invisible near-infrared light to higher energy blue and UV light. Credit: Kaiheng Wei Courtesy: University of Buffalo

The news release goes on to describe technology in more detail,

When it comes to bioimaging, near-infrared light could be used to activate the light-emitting nanoparticles deep inside the body, providing high-contrast images of areas of interest. In the realm of security, nanoparticle-infused inks could be incorporated into currency designs; such ink would be invisible to the naked eye, but glow blue when hit by a low-energy laser pulse — a trait very difficult for counterfeiters to reproduce.

“It opens up multiple possibilities for the future,” says Tymish Ohulchanskyy, deputy director of photomedicine and research associate professor at the Institute for Lasers, Photonics, and Biophotonics (ILPB) at the University at Buffalo.

“By creating special layers that help transfer energy efficiently from the surface of the particle to the core, which emits blue and UV light, our design helps overcome some of the long-standing obstacles that previous technologies faced,” says Guanying Chen, professor of chemistry at Harbin Institute of Technology [China] and ILPB research associate professor.

“Our particle is about 100 times more efficient at ‘upconverting’ light than similar nanoparticles created in the past, making it much more practical,” says Jossana Damasco, a UB chemistry PhD student who played a key role in the project.

The research was published online in Nano Letters on Oct. 21 and led by the Institute for Lasers, Photonics, and Biophotonics at UB, and the Harbin Institute of Technology in China, with contributions from the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden; Tomsk State University in Russia; and the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

The study’s senior author was Paras Prasad, ILPB executive director and SUNY [State University of New York] Distinguished Professor in chemistry, physics, medicine and electrical engineering at UB.

Peeling back the layers

Converting low-energy light to light of higher energies isn’t easy to do. The process involves capturing two or more tiny packets of light called “photons” from a low-energy light source, and combining their energy to form a single, higher-energy photon.

The onionesque nanoparticle performs this task beautifully. Each of its three layers fulfills a unique function:

  • The outermost layer is a coating of organic dye. This dye is adept at absorbing photons from low-energy near-infrared light sources. It acts as an “antenna” for the nanoparticle, harvesting light and transferring energy inside, Ohulchanskyy says.
  • The next layer is a neodymium-containing shell. This layer acts as a bridge, transferring energy from the dye to the particle’s light-emitting core.
  • Inside the light-emitting core, ytterbium and thulium ions work in concert. The ytterbium ions draw energy into the core and pass the energy on to the thulium ions, which have special properties that enable them to absorb the energy of three, four or five photons at once, and then emit a single higher-energy photon of blue and UV light.

So why not just use the core? Why add the dye and neodymium layer at all?

As Ohulchanskyy and Chen explain, the core itself is inefficient in absorbing photons from the outside world. That’s where the dye comes in.

Once you add the dye, the neodymium-containing layer is necessary for transferring energy efficiently from dye to core. Ohulchanskyy uses the analogy of a staircase to explain why this is: When molecules or ions in a material absorb a photon, they enter an “excited” state from which they can transfer energy to other molecules or ions. The most efficient transfer occurs between molecules or ions whose excited states require a similar amount of energy to obtain, but the dye and ytterbium ions have excited states with very different energies. So the team added neodymium — whose excited state is in between that of the dye and thulium’s — to act as a bridge between the two, creating a “staircase” for the energy to travel down to reach emitting thulium ions.

Here’s a link to and a citation for the paper,

Energy-Cascaded Upconversion in an Organic Dye-Sensitized Core/Shell Fluoride Nanocrystal by Guanying Chen, Jossana Damasco, Hailong Qiu, Wei Shao, Tymish Y. Ohulchanskyy, Rashid R. Valiev, Xiang Wu, Gang Han, Yan Wang, Chunhui Yang, Hans Ågren, and Paras N. Prasad. Nano Lett., 2015, 15 (11), pp 7400–7407 DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.5b02830 Publication Date (Web): October 21, 2015

Copyright © 2015 American Chemical Society

This paper is behind a paywall.

Finally, there is a Nov. 11, 2015 article about the research by Jake Wilkinson for Azonano. He provides additional details such as this measurement,

Measuring approximately 50nm in diameter, the new nanoparticle features three differently designed layers. …

*’ayered’ changed to ‘layered’ on Nov. 11, 2015.

Nano in New York State: Nano Utica builds chip facility and California’s The Film House relocates

New York State has been engaged in a processi of building a ‘nano hub’ for some years now and one of the latest developments in this effort is the Nano Utica initiative which recently passed a milestone with regard to a new facility being built (from a Feb. 27, 2014 news item on Nanowerk),

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today [Feb. 27, 2014] announced a milestone in the construction of the $125 million Computer Chip Commercialization Center (Quad-C), as construction crews completed the building’s steel structure ahead of schedule. This marked a key moment in the first phase of the Governor’s $1.5 billion Nano Utica initiative, spearheaded by the SUNY [State University of New York] College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (SUNY CNSE) and the SUNY Institute of Technology (SUNYIT). Nano Utica is the public-private partnership announced by the Governor in October 2013 that will bring more than 1,500 jobs to the region and further define New York as the global leader in nanotechnology-based research and development.

The Feb. 27, 2014 SUNY CNSE news release, which originated the news item, provides some insight into the hopes and dreams of the politicians and academics involved in this ‘nano hub’ making effort,

“This is an important milestone for New York,” Governor Cuomo said. “Not only will this project create over a thousand new high-skilled, high-paying jobs, but it marks New York’s emergence as a world leader in the nanotechnology sector. Quad-C will be the catalyst for nanotechnology innovation, education, and economic development in New York. The project is ahead of schedule and exciting things lay ahead.”

Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy, who presided over the Quad-C ceremony, said, “With great thanks to Governor Cuomo’s strategic vision for growth, the past three years have proven to be enormous for the nanotechnology industry in many regions of the state. The latest announcement here today in Utica, that construction on the Quad-C facility is ahead of schedule, helps to ensure the continued development and utilization of everything that the Mohawk Valley has to offer. I thank the Governor, the leadership at SUNY, and our partners in government and nanotechnology for their tireless efforts to make this industry successful in Utica.”

“With Governor Cuomo’s support and leadership, we are building more than world-class nanotechnology research and development facilities; we are building a state that is leading the way in critical scientific areas that are powering next-generation technologies,” said Dr. Alain Kaloyeros, CNSE Senior Vice President and CEO. “As we top-off Quad-C, we realize the heights New York will achieve, thanks to Governor Cuomo’s pioneering vision, are limitless.”

Quad-C will be completed by the end of 2014. The 253,000 square-foot facility will include 56,000 square-feet of Class 1 capable cleanroom space stacked on two levels. An annual operating budget of over $500 million will support 1,500 high-tech jobs and the establishment of groundbreaking academic programs and cutting-edge workforce training opportunities.

Led by the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) and SUNY Institute of Technology at Utica/Rome (SUNYIT), the Quad-C is an integral part of the Governor’s Nano Utica initiative, featuring six leading global technology companies that will invest $1.5 billion to create a regional hub for nanotechnology-based innovation, education, and economic development.

“With the final steel beam in place, we are thrilled to see Governor Cuomo’s targeted investments lay the groundwork for this nanotechnology-based boom that is poised to help uplift this region,” said Dr. Robert Geer, SUNYIT Acting President. “Quad-C will build upon the Albany-based, publicly-led, public-private partnership model by leveraging the facility’s world-class research, development, and manufacturing capabilities to benefit this upstate region that is on the upswing.”

Senator Joe Griffo said, “Governor’s Cuomo’s commitment to supporting key public-private partnerships and growing our emerging high-tech industries is proving successful here in the Mohawk Valley as it has across all of New York State. With construction at the Quad-C facility continuing ahead of schedule, we are making major strides in solidifying the region’s position as a major hub for nanotech research and development, and a premier place for global companies to do business. I look forward to the project’s completion and the economic boost this influx of jobs will provide to the community.”

Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi said, “The Governor’s Nano Utica initiative is an unprecedented step forward for this region, and the fact that the first phase of construction was completed ahead of schedule shows his commitment to getting New Yorkers into jobs as quickly as possible. The sooner we finish Quad-C construction, the sooner it is that we can put professionals back to work, and feel the ripple effects of this monumental program in the area’s small business community. Governor Cuomo’s plan goes beyond simply creating jobs; it will transform Utica in a way not seen in generations, and put the Mohawk Valley on the map in the nanotechnology world. I look forward to continuing to work with this administration to keep up the pace and see the Nano Utica project through to a speedy completion.”

County Executive Anthony Picente said, “I want to thank Governor Cuomo. Under his leadership we are becoming a leader in nanotechnology. Today is a significant step towards the future. Nano Utica is the catalyst for job growth and economic progress in our state for years to come.”

Utica Mayor Rob Palmeri said, “Today’s announcement is an important first step as Utica continues its transformation into a high-tech destination for companies around the globe. Jobs of the future – 1,500 of them – will soon be coming home to Utica as part of Governor Cuomo’s Nano Utica initiative. These jobs in turn will spur economic development all across the region, which I believe is on the verge of very big things in the years ahead region thanks to this public-private partnership spearheaded by Governor Cuomo.”

Supervisor Brian Scala said, “I’m happy to celebrate in today’s announcement as we mark this major accomplishment. The Mohawk Valley’s unique assets make it an ideal location for a project of this scale and magnitude and I thank Governor Cuomo and all the partners involved who have made this long-time vision a reality. The transformation taking shape at Quad-C gives us a window into what will be a world-class facility that create more than 1,500 new jobs for our area residents and their families and dramatically reshape our economic future. I am proud that Marcy can be home to this great project.”

The Nano Utica consortium is led by Advanced Nanotechnology Solutions Incorporated (ANS Inc.), SEMATECH, Atotech, and SEMATECH and CNSE partner companies, including IBM, Lam Research, and Tokyo Electron. Headquartered at the CNSE-SUNYIT Quad-C, Nano Utica will build on the research and development programs currently being conducted by ANS Inc., SEMATECH, and their private industry partners at the SUNY CNSE campus in Albany.

Somehow New York State’s nano hub has led to a California-based film and entertainment company, The Film House, making the decision to relocate to New York state. From a March 5, 2014 news item on areadevelopment.com (Note: Links have been removed),

The Film House, a California-based film and television company, will be the first tenant in Central New York State’s Hub for Emerging Nano Industries. The firm will move its headquarters, production, post-production, and distribution operations to Syracuse, New York, as part of a relocation expected to create at least 350 new high-tech jobs in Onondaga County.

President and CEO of The Film House Ryan Johnson said, “We considered locations around the world but nothing came close to offering an opportunity like New York does. The state leadership, as embodied by Governor Andrew Cuomo, the skilled workforce, the commitment to high tech research and development, and the overall business friendly climate in this state made it pretty clear that this is where our business, our jobs, and our investments need to be. We’re thrilled to partner with CNSE on what will undoubtedly create unique academic possibilities as we explore the future of filmmaking and distribution.”

“This deal continues our efforts to revitalize upstate New York’s economy and create jobs,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “The film industry and nanotech sectors are emerging industries, and New York is going to reap the rewards of innovation and high-tech jobs. We’re bringing the industries of the future to New York, and Upstate is going to lead the way. The new innovation hub in Onondaga County will be a hotspot for research and education, bringing hundreds of new jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars of investment to Central New York.” [emphasis mine]

CNSE Senior Vice President and CEO Dr. Alain Kaloyeros said, “Today’s announcement is further evidence that Governor Andrew Cuomo’s leadership and vision have established New York State as the world leader in cutting edge nanotechnology innovation and applications, including almost every nanotechnology-enabled industry, while capturing the interests and investments of more than just the computer chip industry. The New York nanotechnology sector is not only making smart phones smarter. It is now making the movies and TV shows that the public can enjoy watching on them. We welcome The Film House to New York and look forward to working with its leadership to advance discoveries in computer-generated imagery, three-dimensional high resolution graphics, and many other exciting areas.”

I’m not sure one can describe the film industry as an emerging sector since its emergence dates back to the 19th century.  In any event, I can understand the excitement about Nano Utica and about the film company’s move.

Taking photos and videos in near darkness

Who hasn’t found wanted to take a picture in a situation where there’s very little light? It seems scientists at SUNY (State University of New York) College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) have found a way to solve the problem. From a Jan. 30, 2014 news item on Azonano,

When the lights went out at the big game, fans and film crews struggled to take a decent picture in the darkness. Those same folks will be cheering the latest research by a team of SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) scientists, which makes brilliant video and pictures possible even if the lights go out.

Dark and blurry low light photos could soon be a thing of the past, thanks to the development of game-changing ultrathin “nanosheets,” which could dramatically improve imaging technology used in everything from cell phone cameras, video cameras, solar cells, and even medical imaging equipment such as MRI machines.

As a result, this technology is perfectly suited for inclusion in a wide variety of everyday devices, including today’s smartphones, which are often used to take pictures, but suffer from limitations in low light environments. This research could allow even novice photographers to take sharper images, even in the midst of a blackout during the biggest game of the year.

A SUNYCNSE research profile titled: SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering Scientists Publish Game-Changing Semiconductor Nanosheets Research That Could Revolutionize Cameras in Low-Light Environments provides more technical details about the research,

Leading-edge research by a team of SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) scientists has been published in ACS Nano after the scientists evaluated ultrathin indium(III) selenide (In2Se3) nanosheets and discovered that their electrical resistance drops significantly when exposed to light. This effect, known as a photoconductive response, can be used to make a photodetector or light sensor, and because the two-dimensional nanosheets exhibited such a strong photoconductive response across a broad light spectrum and simultaneously resist chemical contamination, this research could lead to a revolution in extreme low-light, high-resolution imaging products and applications, such as consumer and professional cameras and video cameras, for example.

The team combined a variety of cutting-edge tools and methods, including scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to identify the nanosheets; atomic force microscopy (AFM) to measure their thickness; X-ray diffractometry (XRD) and selected area electron diffraction (SAED) combined with high-resolution images from transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to examine nano-layer details such as the crystallographic phase and morphology of the sample; and energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDS) and auger electron spectrometry (AES) to explore the sample’s homogeneity. As the photoconductive material’s properties were characterized, the CNSE research group found that the material is extremely resistant to contamination. Additionally, the team utilized a green LED to direct pulsed light at the nanosheets and found that they exhibited a reliable response to light and an excellent response time between 18 and 73 milliseconds, indicating that In2Se3 nanosheets could be a highly effective material for real-time imaging purposes.

The nanosheets were also tested for the ability to detect light and for light responsivity, or the ratio of generated photocurrent to incident light power. The researchers noted that the photoconductive response of the nanosheets, which had a thickness of 3.9 nanometers, was demonstrably higher than other 2D photoresistors across a broad light spectrum, including Ultraviolet, visible light, and infrared, making them suitable for use in a wide-range of imaging devices.

Here’s a link to and a citation for the paper,

Extraordinary Photoresponse in Two-Dimensional In2Se3 Nanosheets by Robin B. Jacobs-Gedrim, Mariyappan Shanmugam, Nikhil Jain, Christopher A. Durcan, Michael T. Murphy, Thomas M. Murray, Richard J. Matyi, Richard L. Moore, II, and Bin Yu.  ACS Nano (2014), vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 514-21

This is a PDF of the document and is being made available by the researchers and their institution.

New York state, a second nanotechnology hub with a $1.5B US investment, and computer chip technology

New York State announced, In an Oct. 10, 2013 news item on Nanowerk, a new investment in nanotechnology,

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that six leading global technology companies will invest $1.5 billion to create ‘Nano Utica,’ the state’s second major hub of nanotechnology research and development. The public-private partnership, to be spearheaded by the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (SUNY CNSE) and the SUNY Institute of Technology (SUNYIT), will create more than 1,000 new high-tech jobs on the campus of SUNYIT in Marcy.

The consortium of leading global technology companies that will create Nano Utica are led by Advanced Nanotechnology Solutions Incorporated (ANSI), SEMATECH, Atotech, and SEMATECH and CNSE partner companies, including IBM, Lam Research and Tokyo Electron. The consortium will be headquartered at the CNSE-SUNYIT Computer Chip Commercialization Center, and will build on the research and development programs currently being conducted by ANSI, SEMATECH, and their private industry partners at the SUNY CNSE campus in Albany, further cementing New York’s international recognition as the preeminent hub for 21st century nanotechnology innovation, education, and economic development.

“With today’s announcement, New York is replicating the tremendous success of Albany’s College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering right here in Utica and paving the way for more than a billion dollars in private investment and the creation of more than 1,000 new jobs,” Governor Cuomo said. “The new Nano Utica facility will serve as a cleanroom and research hub for Nano Utica whose members can tap into the training here at SUNYIT and local workforce, putting the Mohawk Valley on the map as an international location for nanotechnology research and development. This partnership demonstrates how the new New York is making targeted investments to transition our state’s economy to the 21st century and take advantage of the strengths of our world class universities and highly trained workforce.”

The Oct. 10, 2013 SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering news release, which originated the news item, describes some of the investment’s specifics,

The computer chip packaging consortium will work inside the complex now under construction on the SUNYIT campus, which is due to open in late 2014. As a result of the commitment of the major companies to locate at Nano Utica, the $125 million facility is being expanded to accommodate the new collaboration, with state-of-the-art cleanrooms, laboratories, hands-on education and workforce training facilities, and integrated offices encompassing 253,000 square feet. The cleanroom will be the first-of-its-kind in the nation: a 56,000-square-foot cleanroom stacked on two levels, providing more than five times the space that was originally planned. To support the project, New York State will invest $200 million over ten years for the purchasing of new equipment for the Nano Utica facility; no private company will receive any state funds as part of the initiative.

Research and development to be conducted includes computer chip packaging and lithography development and commercialization. These system-on-a-chip innovations will drive a host of new technologies and products in the consumer and business marketplace, including smart phones, tablets, and laptops; 3D systems for gaming; ultrafast and secure computer servers and IT systems; and sensor technology for emerging health care, clean energy and environmental applications.

Interestingly (to me if no one else), there was a Sept. 2011 announcement from New York state about a new investment in nanoscale computer chip technology and a consortium of companies which also included IBM. From my Sept. 29, 2011 posting,

$4.4B is quite the investment(especially considering the current international economic gyrations) and it’s the amount that IBM (International Business Machines), Intel, and three other companies announced that they are investing to “create the next generation of computer chip technology.” From the Sept. 28, 2011 news item on Nanowerk,

The five companies involved are Intel, IBM, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, TSMC and Samsung. New York State secured the investments in competition with countries in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The agreements mark an historic level of private investment in the nanotechnology sector in New York. [emphasis mine]


IBM has long invested in New York state and its nanotechnology initiatives. I mentioned a $1.5B IBM investment (greater than the US federal government’s annual funding that year for its National Nanotechnology Initiative) in a July 17, 2008 posting.

I wish these announcements would include information as to how the money is being paid out, e.g., one lump sum or an annual disbursement over five years or … .

One last bit. the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering had a somewhat controversial change of status and change of relationship to what I was then calling the University of Albany (mentioned in my July 26, 2013 posting).

Split or symbiotic relationship? University of Albany and its College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering

There’s a change taking place at New York state’s University of Albany and its College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE). Some call it a split, while others call it a new symbiotic relationship. Given the importance of the nano effort in NY state (my July 17, 2008 posting about IBM’s $1.5B investment in the state’s nanotechnology sector) and the CNSE’s prominence and outreach efforts (my May 28, 2013 posting), I checked into this further.

A July 17, 2013 posting by Charles Huckabee for The Ticker blog on The Chronicle for Higher Education website provides an overview of the situation and some of the funding considerations leading to the new relationship (Note: Links have been removed),

Trustees of the State University of New York [SUNY] voted on Tuesday [July 16, 2013] to begin the process of splitting off the University at Albany’s College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering into a separate, degree-granting institution, according to reports by the Times Union newspaper of Albany and the Associated Press. Several trustees, however, challenged whether the separation was necessary, saying it had not been sufficiently reviewed and could end up duplicating administration costs for SUNY.

In a news release from SUNY, the system’s chancellor, Nancy L. Zimpher, who champions the move, said the task of separating the institutions would be completed by the 2014-15 academic year. …

… a study group assembled by Ms. Zimpher concluded that to achieve its goals, the college needed more independence. Those goals, according to the Times Union, include amassing up to $500-million in research dollars in 2015 alone while continuing to build up space used for classes and research by public- and private-sector scientists.

As might be expected, not everyone is entirely thrilled with this change. From the July 24, 2013 interview by Haley Viccano for The Business Review (Note: Links have been removed),

I spoke with Karen Hitchcock, University at Albany’s president from 1996 until 2004, about the split between UAlbany and the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering.

Hitchcock discussed the history of the nanocollege’s growth during her presidency and how she believes the restructuring could affect both campuses.

She said she is concerned about the decision to split because it has the potential to hurt UAlbany’s reputation and diminish its stature as a research institution.

It’s an interesting read and I’m inclined to agree with Hitchcock’s analysis. Dave Lucas’s July 23, 2013 posting (which includes an embedded radio interview [running time: a little over 3.5 mins.]) for WAMC; Northeast Public Radio, acknowledges the doubts and the hopes for this action,

David Doyle is Director of Communications for the State University of New York. He admits there are obviously many questions and issues that need to be resolved over the next year of transition.

Although the colleges will “split,” University at Albany President Robert Jones agrees they will forever be interlinked. He expects both schools have important roles to play and will rise to new levels of education and innovation.  Jones adds there is no issue that can’t be worked out to make a smooth transition from one school to two.

Nano College Senior Vice President and Chief Executive Officer Alain Kaloyeros was not available for comment. An op-ed piece for the Albany Times Union Kaloyeros co-authored with Jones states that the action “by the SUNY Board of Trustees is not the end of the process; it is the beginning.”

The posting is not a full transcript of the radio interview, so you might want to check out the interview to get such tidbits as Doyle’s and other’s  description of the symbiotic relationship (not split) they hope for.

NanoHigh in New York State

I have much admiration for the State University of New York’s (SUNY) College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering’s (CNSE) outreach programs and this May 28, 2013 news item on Nanowerk highlights a particularly exciting one (Note: A link has been removed),

Governor [Mario] Cuomo today joined SUNY’s College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) and the City School District of Albany (CSDA) to announce that this year’s class of 23 Albany High School students have successfully completed the pioneering “NanoHigh” program. This program, which supports the Governor’s strategy to expand New York’s high-tech workforce through nanotechnology-based education, is believed to be the first of its kind in the nation – pushing the number of NanoHigh graduates to more than 100 since the program began in 2007.

Including this year’s NanoHigh class, 113 students have now graduated from the program since its inception. The nanotechnology curriculum is taught collaboratively at both Albany High School and at CNSE’s Albany NanoTech Complex. Taking place throughout the school year, the program also emphasizes opportunities for students from social groups that are typically underrepresented in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Students who take part in NanoHigh work with leading CNSE faculty and scientists in the college’s world-class laboratories and cleanrooms. They conduct hands-on experiments to explore a wide variety of nanotechnology-based applications, including integrated circuit technologies and nanoscale patterning and fabrication; nanobiomedical applications, such as innovations in nanomedicine and forensic DNA fingerprinting; clean energy technologies, such as dye-sensitized solar cells and ultracapacitors for energy storage; and nanoeconomics.

A ceremony to recognize the NanoHigh graduates was held at CNSE, with a new class scheduled to begin in the fall, allowing another group of 23 students to become engaged in the cutting-edge science of the 21st century.

You can learn more about NanoHigh here.

Five tech hubs in NY state

I noted a few weeks back that 24 regional nanotechnology centres in the UK are likely to be cut when the UK’s new budget is announced (July 28, 2010 posting). By contrast, the State University of New York (SUNY) has announced the formation of five regional technology hubs. From the news item on Azonano,

The State University of New York (SUNY), in partnership with The Research Foundation of SUNY and SUNY campuses statewide, has launched five regional “Technology Transfer” hubs across the SUNY research enterprise as part of a novel effort to spur new high-tech business opportunities and stimulate economic growth across New York State.

The move is in direct alignment with the SUNY Strategic Plan to build the Entrepreneurial Century.

I realize a straight comparison isn’t possible since the centres in the UK are specifically oriented to nanotechnology while the centres in the US are generalized technology hubs. Also, the centres in the UK are funded directly by the federal government while the centres in New York are funded through the university. Still I find the contrast between pulling back as opposed to reaching out in times of trouble rather interesting. BTW, this is the first time I’ve heard of an Entrepreneurial Century.