Tuesday, April 7, 2009

You Say Micro, I Say Nano

It was Shakespeare who said “What is in a name…?”, but it was Louis Armstrong who famously sang about potatoes and tomatoes. What I am trying to get at (in my attempt at humor) is the name change that is currently occurring in nanotechnology research here at Georgia Tech.

If you have only recently become acquainted with nanotechnology at Tech, you may not realize that the Nanotechnology Research Center is a new addition. For more than 20 years, the open fabrication and characterization user facilities at Georgia Tech (which have operated as part of the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network for the last 5 years) have been known as the Microelectronics Research Center (MiRC). With the opening of our newest facility, the Marcus Nanotechnology Building, this entity will now be known as the Nanotechnology Research Center (NRC). The NRC consists of both facilities, the original Pettit Microelectronics Building and the new Marcus building, which will operate under a unified management. This does not indicate any radical shift in the focus of the research that goes on here, as the drift away from traditional microelectronics to the broad and multi-disciplinary nanotechnology (which George Whitesides calls “a word, not a field”), has been occurring for some time. The NRC will continue with state-of-the-art nano- (and micro-) scale fabrication, but will now include additional capabilities for life sciences and materials research. More on this in later posts.

Along these same lines, the existing MiRC websites (both MiRC and the Grover cleanroom) that you are used to, as well as the more general NanoTech website which catalogs nanoscale research at Tech, can all be found linked at the new NRC website http://www.nrc.gatech.edu/. This is currently just a start, and as we move forward a more thorough integration of this web information will occur.

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