Tuesday, March 2, 2010

What a Show

Last Thursday night the Nanotechnology Research Center put on quite a production.  More than 20 Georgia Tech (NRC and EII) individuals, along with another 10 from some local NRC user companies, collaborated to host a Field Trip for the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) at the Marcus Nanotechnology Building.  After a welcome by TAG President Tino Mantella and an introduction by NRC Director Dr. Jim Meindl, the nearly 80 guests had opportunities to explore five areas of nanotechnology, from research to commercialization.

A behind-the-scenes tour of the Marcus building showed the attendees what is so unique about the cleanroom and its supporting infrastructure, and how this is important for conducting research at the nanoscale.  Since the visitors could not go into the cleanroom, a live audio/video link was used to conduct a demonstration of photolithographic pattern transfer, one of the key steps in fabrication.  We were able to demonstrate some advanced imaging tools, atomic force microscopy and scanning electron microscopy (thanks to Hitachi), which allow researchers to study and measure samples with nanometer resolution.  Attendees also had an opportunity to participate in some hands-on activities used in nano-education and outreach and to examine nano-enabled commercial products.  In addition, exhibitors from Axion Biosystems, NanoGrip Technologies, Claro Chemical, nGimat, and OpenCell were on hand to explain their technologies and showcase their prototypes or products to the assembled technology professionals.

Five groups of attendees rotated among the stations with clock-work precision, aided by able tour guides.  Even though some of the lighting went out early on in the evening, the enthusiasm of both guests and hosts was not dimmed.  As the formal program came to an end, the house lights came on just in time for a reception and additional networking.  Everyone, hosts and guests alike, departed feeling enlightened and pleased with the performance.

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