Congress renews its investment in Oregon nano- and microtechnology research

December 26 2005

Funding fuels collaborative’s position as a leader in this rapidly expanding science

EUGENE, Ore. - (Dec. 22, 2005) - The U.S. House and Senate have approved $6.7 million for three Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechologies Institute (ONAMI) projects, strengthening the institute’s position as a world?leading collaborative in this rapidly expanding area of research. The funding continues Congressional support for ONAMI research that is identifying safer nanomaterials and nanomanufacturing processes and new compact energy technologies, and initiates Congressional funding for research in the science of measuring and imaging nanodevices.

Separately, Congress targeted $1.7 million for ONAMI Safer Materials and Manufacturing, $2.5 million for ONAMI Tactical Energy Systems and $2.5 million for ONAMI Nanometrology and Nanoelectronics Initiative. The funding was included in the Department of Defense appropriations conference report that was approved today (Thursday, Dec. 22). The vote brings the cumulative Congressional investment in ONAMI to $11.7 million since fiscal year 2005.

“We are very grateful to the members of the Oregon delegation for their unfailing support for this research that holds so much potential for both the advancement of this important science as well as the region’s economy,” said Skip Rung, executive director of ONAMI, a nanoscience/microtechnologies collaboration between the University of Oregon, Oregon State University, Portland State University, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the state of Oregon and private industry partners. It is focused on research and commercialization of nanoscience and microtechnologies to foster the creation of new products, companies and jobs in the Pacific Northwest.

Safer nanomaterials and nanomanufacturing research focuses on three areas: rational design of high performance, yet safer and greener materials based on properties found at the nanoscale; a systematic assessment of the biological impacts of engineered nanomaterials; and development of technology for high-volume manufacturing of high-performance nanomaterials. The initiative takes advantage of world-class expertise within ONAMI in green chemistry, nanoscale materials and processes, and the design and fabrication of microscale systems.

Miniature tactical energy systems research utilizes integrated microscale and nanoscale research established by ONAMI. The continuing research promises to develop a number of applications, including compact power supplies for portable electronics, portable fuel cells and hydrogen production, automotive cooling systems that operate using exhaust heat, and will result in the development of miniaturized electrical power systems to minimize logistics requirements of field security forces.

The Nanometrology for nanoelectronics initiative addresses the future needs in the science of imaging and measuring for the fabrication of nanodevices, biosensors, and circuits at densities that reach a trillion devices per square centimeter. The new funding will support additional research in nanometrology and testing of nanodevices and circuits to enable the use of nanoscale materials for electronic applications such as high density memories on silicon integrated circuits that could lead to new applications in computing, information processing and biosensing.

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