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Project: Research project

Project Details


The proposed Soft and Hybrid Nanotechnology Experimental (SHyNE) resource is a collaborative venture between Northwestern University (NU) International Institute for Nanotechnology (IIN) and the University of Chicago (UC) Pritzker Nanofabrication Facility (PNF). Here, “soft” refers to biological, polymeric and fluidic structures and associated phenomena while “hybrid” is meant to represent a combination of soft structures with classical hard materials or associated backbone system. Such hybrid systems include not only actual physical combination of soft-hard assemblies, for example as in liposome-encapsulated nanocrystals or organic-inorganic nanocomposites in flavored chewing gum, but also system-level soft-hard integration, as in microfluidic “hard” chip for “soft” cell sorting or a NEMS bio-sensor for monitoring fermentation of cheese. Such soft and hybrid nanosystems are traditionally underrepresented in the context of fabrication (assembly), characterization and in the overall nation’s user facility infrastructure. Yet, these they are critically important in numerous technologies of profound societal needs; including agricultural, biomedical, chemical, food, geo-environmental systems; in addition to traditional microelectronics and “high-tech” applications. Under the NNCI program, SHyNE will enhance the regional capabilities in soft/hybrid nanotechnology and greatly extend our external user base to non-traditional industries like; Agricultural (ADM, Monsanto), biomedical (Baxter, Abbott), chemical (BP, Dow), food (Kraft, Mars-Wrigley), geo-enviro (Great Lakes Consortium, Deere/Caterpillar), in addition to microelectronics and numerous regional SMEs, academic and public institutions; all of whom will make use of the SHyNE facilities for fabrication, assembly, architecturing and characterization of soft and hybrid nanostructured systems.
Effective start/end date9/15/158/31/21


  • National Science Foundation (ECCS-1542205)


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