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From Lab to Fab: Pioneers in Nano-Manufacturing

From Lab to Fab: Pioneers in Nano-Manufacturing


These two men want to create
revolutionary products like thread that is stronger than steel or smartphones that could cost $10. They are among a growing number of researchers and entrepreneurs trying to harness the
extraordinary properties of microscopic nanoparticles to remake many of our most important products and the very way we manufacture them. In the heart of New England mill country where old abandoned factories once turned out spools of thread and bolts of cloth, a new kind of fabric, like black cotton candy, floats out of
hot furnaces in Merrimack, New Hampshire where Nanocomp Technologies is located. This large factory floor is the domain of co-founder Peter Antoinette. He’s a nanotechnology entreprenuer who’s built Nancomp’s business on the
extraordinary properties of tiny carbon nanotubes. There are trillions upon trillions of nanotubes swirling and binding togetherin this furnace. And NanoComp is turning this gauze-like stuff into amazingly strong materials. What we’re looking at here is really nanotechnology for the first time turned into bulk products. Yarns. High-strength fibers. And these fibers can be turned into
ultra-strong tethers and cables. So, why do you care? How’d you like to replace chain with THIS. Nanocomp’s products include this trash bag-looking material that’s thinner than a sheet of paper but stronger than a speeding bullet. so it’s a no brainer for bulletproof vests. We’ve put our material into a vest to make it thinner and lighter, and as I peel it back and then in here you can see our
black sheet material added to it and there’s a bullet, right there. And that’s not all the material can do. The biggest application is to replace the flooring in aircraft. So that sheet was turned into
this super lightweight honeycomb. This will actually save weight and fuel, save CO2 emissions with lighter, stronger material. But what gives nanotubes such special properties? With the diameter of DNA, you need a powerful microscope just to see individual tubes. Magnified over 200,000 times, they’re still so mysterious, a model is the best way to explain them. A carbon nanotube is made of carbon atoms in this unique hexagonal structure. That gives them tremendous amount of strength. It’s a hollow tube alright, that means it’s incredibly lightweight. Several sports equipment companies are mixing nanotubes into plastics to make composite
materials that are stronger lighter and more durable. But Nanocomp wanted to make entire products out of nanotubes. So they had to find a way to get these
clouds of wispy tendrils to stick together on their own. The answer was to make the super-thin nano tubes longer so they had many more points have contact. There are attractive forces, almost like magnetism, that hold the tubes to each other. They crossover, they entangle. They’re holding themselves together And that is the key to their strength. Nanocomp designed its production process for maximum safety. The clouds of tiny tubes are sealed within a carefully controlled
air handling system engineered to protect workers and the environment. This is 21st-century manufacturing in a
nineteenth-century New England mill town. Something that makes Peter Antoinette very proud. You wouldn’t normally think that this
type of technology would pop up in New Hampshire. It goes to show you that innovation and the idea has to start first. And New England has had a huge tradition of manufacturing from the textile mills… and maybe we’re
gonna be the new textile mill world with our materials. In the atomic world of nanotubes and other nanomaterials, there’s a property that not even Nanocomp has begun to exploit. They are excellent conductors of electricity. As consumer demand for smarter, bendable, even wearable electronics increases, companies everywhere are developing
smaller, more flexible sensors and microchips to run them. So if someone could figure out how to
replace conventional chip materials with super tiny nanomaterials, they’d
have a sure-fire winner And this man believes he can do just that. He’s Ahmed Busnaina, director of
Northeastern University’s Center for High-rate Nanomanufacturing. The Center was launched with funding from the National Science Foundation to help translate lab-based nanoscience into practical applications, a concept Ahmed wants his graduate students to embrace. The last experiments that I have done was the Paclitaxol drug – which is an
anti-cancer drug… Before he began teaching, Ahmed worked
with the computer chip industry where the seed of an idea began to grow. More than ten years ago, I started thinking that we need a new technology to get the benefit from nanotechnology and nanomaterials. And the current semiconductor
manufacturing cannot do that. I started thinking about a new manufacturing concept – completely new. A traditional chip factory needs to be
highly automated and cleaner than operating room to
prevent contamination. To make a chip, metals and other materials need
to be deposited, etched away, re-deposited and re-etched to create the circuitry. The process requires vast amounts of
water, chemicals, and gases. The semiconducting wafers are all made of crystalline silicon. Everything here is big, energy-intensive and costly. For one chip, you could have 300-400 processes. So Ahmed designed a system that could
make chips more efficiently and far less expensively. He’s called his invention NanoOPS, for nanoscale offset printing system. But what does offset printing have to do with chip-making? Printing in the old days was offset
printing. You have a printing plate, you put the ink on it you print. [Cha-ching] Like printing money. Something we’d all like to do. And what Ahmed wants to do is print circuits this way. At his Northeastern lab, Ahmed and his team developed a process for turning a typical silicon wafer into a printing plate or template. They begin by projecting a pre-designed
circuit pattern onto a wafer that has been photo-sensitized. Then using simple chemistry, they develop the pattern just like a photograph. After a few more steps, the template is
ready to become a printing plate in a fully automated system Ahmed has designed. here’s how the
process works A robotic arm will load the
template and blank wafers. The arm take them to precision
alignment stations so they will match up perfectly. The template is sent to an assembly module for the key part of the printing process. The template, with its etched-circuitry, is dipped into a well containing nanotubes or other types of nanomaterials. When an electric current is applied to the well, the nanomaterials are drawn out of the water and adhere to the etched pattern like ink. The newly inked template is aligned to the blank wafer and both were taken to the transfer module where pressure device presses the two together. In an instant, the pattern that was inked
on the template is printed onto the wafer. And like a printing press, the process can be repeated to make as many wafers as you want from the same template. We can use that template thousands of times. And additional layers of circuitry can be added by inking a new template with a different pattern and pressing it against the existing wafers to make more complex electronics. The entire process takes minutes compared hours in a traditional chip factory. The reason we use offset printing is because it’s a lot faster, you ink the template, and you print, and in one shot, you’re done. You can print circuits or sensors on cheap flexible plastic wafers at the at the macro, micro and nano-scale quickly and accurately. In Ahmed’s process, there’s no waste, because you only use
what you want. There’s no chemicals you have to use
to etch or to react and that means that you can use any material you want. You’re not stuck on silicon. In fact, the entire production process consumes fewer resources than a chip factory. The fact that we don’t use vacuum, we don’t use high-temperature, and we
don’t use a lot of water and so as a result our cost is a fraction, is less than 1% of what it makes to produce a chip. The only question is when it’s all put together, will this first-of-its-kind device actually work? This was a big challenge for us because we’ve never made a tool before. So, to bring technologies from the bench-type experiments to this was a big leap for us. To build his dream machine, Ahmed needed an experienced partner. So, he turned to experts in the precision design a robotic devices. Krassy Petkov is an entrepreneur, inventor, and CEO of Milara, an industry leader in precision mechanics. Building the NanoOPS machine is an enormous gamble for Milara, as
well as for Ahmed. The company invests quite a bit of money. I believe we’re close to half a million dollars right now. When it’s finished maybe it’s going to be
more than that. May work, may not. But most likely is
going to work. Milara is used to taking chances and they’ve produced some real winners, like the super-smart Talon robot that has detected and eliminated
explosive devices in Iraq and Afghanistan. So the reason we chose Milara is because we needed alignment and registration at the nanoscale, and they already make alignment systems for the semiconductor industry and they
also make robots so they had all the right ingredients
for us to work with. And their engineers know how to work
under pressure, something that has taken center stage
since NanoOPS is due to be unveiled to the public in only 4 weeks. We’re putting in pretty long hours and we expect to put on more long hours in putting the whole system together and then testing it. It’s going to be very difficult. The big day has come Inside Northeastern University’s George
Kostas Research Institute, invitees from academia, industry and government have come to see Ahmed’s invention and assess its worth. Behind the scenes, everyone is nervously prepping for the big moment. Will visitors be impressed enough with NanoOPS to invest in it? That’s the big question and the reason everyone here is so anxious. We’re very excited. I mean we have 160 people coming 52 companies and a lot of government agencies. Everybody’s pumped up. But as Ahmed and Krassy and other speakers prepare the crowd, back in the display area, there is a deep concern. The machine has stopped working. No one out front has a clue that a possible tech disaster has just occurred. But as the pressure mounts and as the VIP’s including George Kostas begin lining up to see it, NanoOPS swings into action and begins to work perfectly. And then this aligns it at the
bottom there and then picks it up and takes it to the
assembly station. It’s a great moment for Ahmed, Milara, and Northeastern. The years of research and months have high-stakes fabrication have produced a truly impressive debut. That’s Cihan Yilmaz taking center stage He’s Ahmed’s most senior post-doc who has spent years working on NanoOPS. And for me, it’s a very exciting moment because this is the thing that I develop the technologies, some of the technologies. And it’s very impressive to see them coming to a product-stage. For all the graduate students, this public forum is an experience they never would have
gotten in a classroom or lab. But this is Ahmed’s day, and for him, the measure of success will be this audience’s response to what they’ve seen. It’s very fast. This machine is so compact which means very small devices, You’re not wasting any material which is potentially way way cheaper than the existing process. Being able to do this here, on our shores is crucial to our security. It’s a way of handling nanoparticles, it’s going to make sense to a lot of people. Despite the crowd’s obvious enthusiasm, Ahmed is listening for more than praise. I’d like to hear them say “how can we get involved?” “how can we collaborate?” I’d like to hear that one first. He wants good impressions to become good investments. And for good reason. Without capital, without funding,
it doesn’t matter. It took Peter Antoinette years to build
Nanocomp’s success. This impressive factory floor is a far cry from his first 500 square foot space. We wouldn’t be here if it hadn’t been for a first contract from the Office of Naval Research. We might have been the smallest defense contractor in the United States And then we had our big breakthrough contract with the Army Natick Soldier Center for body armor. It was literally millions of dollars. What attracted customers was Nanocomp’s ability to move high-strength carbon nanotubes from a lab environment, into a production process for making next generation materials in volume. And what will attract investors to NanoOPS is its potential to bring speed and agility to the production of tiny sensors and flexible electronics while drawing inspiration from the past. They are doing some remarkable work in taking one of the oldest industrial technologies Printing. Gutenberg. And being able to print carbon nanotubes and other nanoscale materials in an offset manner to make electronic components. An entirely different ultra low-cost methodology. You’re looking at a revolution. I’ll it will take more time in the lab and in the factory, before NanoOPS is ready to produce complex commercial electronics. But the machine is already making devices, like super tiny plastic sensors with applications from saving energy to saving lives. And these sensors can do amazing things because first of all, they can be very very small, they can be much smaller than a grain of sand. With nanoscale sensing elements a thousand times thinner than a human hair these sensors can detect the earliest signs of infection or disease, for example. And transmit the data wirelessly. So, there’s a huge demand for sensors especially flexible, very inexpensive, that can work for a long time, they can detect viruses, bacteria they can detect a variety. So this opens a whole door. The buzz in the crowd over NanoOPS is certainly a good sign for Ahmed. Many here are already imagining the new possibilities it offers. We would certainly look towards making some of our sensors. We’re looking to make a new type of solar cell. For advanced memory applications. Integrating them into the soldier’s uniform. I would love to see it, you know on something like the space station. Ahmed Busnaina and Peter Antoinette transforming the very way we make things pioneering America’s future in nano-manufacturing.

Comments (26)

  1. Brilliant video! I can not wait for the large-scale mass production of nanomaterials and nanomaterial-enabled devices to reach the consumer market. Nanotechnology is going to revolutionize the world and how we live.

  2. Carbon can form 4 bindings, 3 is used in nanotube structure.

  3. when can they make solar panels of nano carbon tubes?

  4. I bet that most of the workers wouldn't normally use those silly eye protection glasses in day to day work and I bet it wouldn't be even required except for a couple of them. It's always amusing how workers are prepared beforehand when a camera crew comes to film.

  5. Thank you so much for sharing this video, it was really inspiring!

  6. If anyone is willing to change the world as much as I do. Please reach out. This is a global invitation to fund humanities great change. Please. Spread the message. Money is the only thing stopping the human race from achieving our dreams. Let's make a difference. Every donation counts. As little as a nanosecond of your time, the world will be a better place if everyone did something about it. It's our only home (for now) so let's fund a change to make it better.

    https://www.gofundme.com/21-cents-for-the-world we can start here.

  7. It's amazing how this wasn't created earlier since it's much more simpler and cheaper than the regular method

  8. .53.#ЛЮБЫЕ ЯДЕРНЫЕ ТЕХНОЛОГИИ,ОПРЕДЕЛЯЮТ ВСЮ СИСТЕМУ ОБМЕНА,ВНЕ ЕЕ РАССМОТРЕНИЯ,ПЛАНОВ,Т.К.ЗАТРАГИВАЮТ СУММАРНЫЕ СВЯЗИ ЯДЕРНОЙ ПАМЯТИ НАЛОЖЕНИЯ ПЕРЕДАЧИ ИНФОРМАЦ.ЭП,СВЕТОВОГО КОЛЕБАНИЯ ЦЕПИ РАСЩЕПЛЕНИЯ ПЛАЗМЕННО/УРАНОВОГО ТРАНСПОРТА КОДОВОГО ГАЗА МАТЕРИИ,АТМОСФЕРНО/ГЕНОВОГО ФОНА ЭП ПЕРЕДАЧИ ДЫХАНИЯ,ФУНДАМЕНТАЛЬНО ОПРЕДЕЛЯЯ И РЕГУЛИРУЯ РЕЗУЛЬТАТ ПРИЕМА/ПОГЛАЩЕНИЯ И ОТВЕТ/ИЗЛУЧЕНИЯ ВИМБРАЦ.ВОЛНОВОГО ПРОЦЕССА ИМПУЛЬСНО/ЭЛЕКТРОННОГО СООТВЕТСТВИЯ ИНФОРМАЦ.ЭП ИЗЛУЧЕНИЯ СИНТЕЗА КОЛЕБАНИЯ СИСТЕМЫ КЛЕТКИ/Д.Н.К./!!!.КАК ОПРЕДЕЛЯЯ ТЕХНОЛОГИИ НАНО/УРОВНЯ НАЛОЖЕНИЯ ЭП СВЕТОВОГО КОЛЕБАНИЯ ИНФОРМАЦ.ЭП ЯДЕРНОЙ ПАМЯТИ КОДА,МОЖНО РЕГУЛИРОВАТЬ ПРОГРЕСС СИСТЕМЫ,ВНЕ ЦЕПОЧНОГО ПЕРЕМЕЩЕНИЯ КВАНТ.МАТЕМАТ.СИНТЕЗА ПЛАЗМЕННО/УРАНОВОГО ТРАНСПОРТА ГАЗА/КОДА СЧЕТА???!.ВЕДЬ РЕЧЬ ИДЕТ НЕ О ТЕХНОЛОГИЯХ/ПРОДУКТА ОДНОГО НАПРАВЛЕНИЯ,Т.К.КОДОВАЯ СИСТЕМА ЗАТРОНЕТ ВСЕ И ВСЕХ,ПО ЗАКОНАМ ИСПОЛНЕНИЯ НАЛОЖЕНИЯ ПРОЦЕССОВ ГАЗОВОГО ИЗЛУЧЕНИЯ СИНТЕЗА,ИБО ПРОЦЕССЫ ПРЕВРАЩЕНИЯ ИМЕЮТ СТРОГУЮ ЯДЕРНУЮ ПОСЛЕДОВАТЕЛЬНОСТЬ СИНТЕЗА ИНФОРМАЦ.ЭП….КОДОВАЯ СИСТЕМА-ЭТО НЕ СИСТЕМА РАЗВЛЕЧЕНИЯ,НЕГАТИВА И ПОЗИТИВА…ЭТО СИСТЕМА ЯДЕРНОГО НАЛОЖЕНИЯ ПАМЯТИ СВЕТОВОГО КОЛЕБАНИЯ ПРИЕМА СЧЕТА РАСЩЕПЛЕНИЯ!.ПОЭТОМУ,ЯДЕРНЫЕ КОДОВЫЕ ТЕХНОЛОГИИ СЧЕТА,СНЕСУТ ВСЕ,И ОСТАНЕТСЯ ТОЛЬКО ПО ЯДЕРНОЙ ПАМЯТИ КОДА МАТЕРИИ ЦЕПИ ПЕРЕДАЧИ!.ПОСЕМУ ЯДЕРНЫЕ ТЕХНОЛОГИИ ОПРЕДЕЛЯЮТСЯ ОТСЧЕТОМ СИСТЕМЫ ИСПОЛНЕНИЯ,ВЫСТРАИВАНИЕМ ЦЕПИ ВСЕЙ ПЕРЕДАЧИ,С УРОВНЕВЫМ ОБМЕНОМ СЧЕТА ПОГЛАЩЕНИЯ,УСТРАНЕНИЕМ НАБОРА ИЗМЕНЕННОГО ПЕРЕНАПРАВЛЕНИЯ,ВВОДОМ В ИНФОРМАЦИОННО/ЯДЕРНЫЕ СВЯЗИ СИСТЕМЫ,ЭКОНОМИКИ,ПОЛИТИКИ,ОБЩЕСТВА ТЕРРИТОРИИ ВВОДА,Т.Е.СОЧЕТАННЫМ ИЗЛУЧЕНИЕМ СОЧЕТАННОГО СИНТЕЗА,С ДАЛЬНЕЙШИМ НАБОРОМ И УДЕРЖАНИЕМ ПЕРЕДАЧИ ИНФОРМАЦ.ЭП….53..#zZz#.

  9. I have an idea can someone in this technology contact me.

  10. Was a good video until 4:42 when Patriots jerseys popped up. Sick technology

  11. I want to read more article regarding nanotubes technology ; how we can produce a high quality with it's application to saving lives and producing electricity; if you have some article please feel free and contact me please

  12. STOP FUCKING UP NATURE! IDIOCRACY

  13. airborne https://hps.org/publicinformation/ate/q8974.html

  14. always the same in american documentaries: add fake drama

  15. I don't believe in consuming. Or buying.

  16. The ufo that i saw was black and glow red on the bottom of liquid metal red color plasma form look like a torus

  17. The biggest question with this is, will Ahmed be willing to crash the traditional cpu market? because this will cut the price, manufacturing speed, and resource consumption of all cpu and potentially gpu systems. intern killing krypto currencies and forcing companies like intel and AMD to change and invest in either nano-circuitry or entirely different consumer markets. And will Ahmed's company hold a monopoly on the entire nanocircuitry market? they could inflate the price artificially if they where to ever get the legal rights in main continents. Or will they only claim the right to the manufacturing process, or the structure of these components?

  18. How about milli technology? 🙂

  19. 0:32 "microscopic nano-particules" uhhhhh don't u mean nanoscopic ?

  20. This is absolute genius …Do we have any resource to learn more about this technology…?

  21. Fibers as small as a dna strand. doesn't that pose a danger? I mean wouldn't it penetrate everything including our skin?

  22. why the hell every ground breaking tech research is headed by an indian

  23. i don't understand how they manufacture the nano tubes

  24. This is very amazing. Great video, great technology

  25. With these videos, you have to distill sensationalism, crystalize marketing and filter misinformation in order to take out the real capabilities of this kind of "new industrial processes".

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