The Institute for Electronics and Nanotechnology (IEN) is one of the founding NSF interdisciplin- ary academic research centers dedicated to nano- technology discovery and development. The IEN
evolved from its original focus as a NSF Microelectronics
Research Center (founded in 1981) at Georgia Tech’s
Atlanta campus. In 2009, the name was changed to the
Nanotechnology Research Center (NRC) to reflect its
physical expansion into the Marcus Nanotechnology
Building (MNB) and research expansion into the growing realm of nanotechnologies applications.
More recently, as part of Georgia Tech’s (GT) push to
consolidate capital-intensive research, the NRC was combined with similarly-themed research centers (including
NSF-funded graphene research, the Packaging Research
Center, and the Georgia Electronic Design Center) to
form an interdisciplinary research hub on campus, the
IEN. Over the years, Georgia Tech has used these centers and their associated facilities to become the one of
the world leaders in nanoscale science and engineering,
with research programs spanning biomedicine, materials, electronics, photonics/optics, and energy. The IEN is
comprised of multiple academic electronics and nanotechnology research centers, each offering a unique intellectual focus ranging from basic discovery and innovation to systems integration. The IEN has approximately
115 GT faculty users and more than 500 GT student
users as well as nearly 200 users from other academic
institutions and industries. Through the NSF’s National
Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN), IEN
facilities are accessible to all U.S. academic users at the
same price afforded by campus-based faculty.
IEN cleanroom, fabrication, and
The IEN runs one of the largest university cleanroom
complexes in North America. The IEN’s core mission
is to provide exceptionally high value, fee-based open
user access to research cleanrooms and laboratories
at its core facilities. The IEN cleanroom has two on-campus locations: the Pettit Microelectronics Building
(PMB), opened in 1988; and the Marcus Nanotechnology
Building (MNB), opened in 2009. Together, these two
facilities provide fully integrated electronics/materials
cleanrooms; separate biological cleanroom space; a state-of-the-art characterization and microscopy suite housed
in a vibrationally and acoustically shielded space; and
supporting labs, equipment, and technical expertise. The
expanded space enables Georgia Tech faculty, students,
and non-GT users from academia, state and federal labs,
and industry to carry out pioneering nanoscale research.
Both the Pettit and Marcus facilities include significant
laboratory space that house faculty research labs immediately proximate to the cleanroom and microscopy
Pettit houses an 8,500 sq. ft. cleanroom (Class
10-100), while the Marcus building includes 10,000 sq.
ft. of inorganic fabrication cleanroom space (Class 100)
Dr. Paul J. Joseph
and Dr. Hang Chen
The Georgia Tech Institute for Electronics
This interdisciplinary research hub offers one of the largest
university cleanroom complexes in North America.
Figure 1: Marcus
(all images: John Pham).