nanoMFG Node Inaugural Annual Call for

Tools Development Collaborations


The Nanomanufacturing Node (nanoMFG) of the Network for Computational Nanotechnology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of California, Berkeley is pleased to announce its first External Call for Tool Development Collaborations.

Description.  The nanoMFG node seeks to create virtual community-based data-sharing and modeling platforms around emerging nanomanufacturing processes of interest to the community. These platforms will be disseminated through the Network for Computational Nanotechnology Cyberplatform (NCN-CP “nanoHUB”) and will enable community building, information sharing, and transactions around dedicated nanomanufacturing processes. The platforms will also facilitate distributed experimentation, by connecting experimental equipment and data capture tools and allowing remote members of the community to request experiments on available network equipment.  The platforms will enable sharing of computational and experimental data, including process related, characterization, and modeling and simulation, and other data. They will enable a large community of researchers to contribute to and analyze data to consolidate and accelerate knowledge around the target nanomanufacturing processes.  The platforms will make use of the Materials Data Facility for data publication services, and the Operating System for Cyberphysical Manufacturing for distributed and remote experimentation.

We seek external collaborators who have an interest in an emerging nanomanufacturing process of wide scale interest to the nanomanufacturing community. These external collaborators will work with the nanoMFG node development team and be involved in activities such as: (i) creating data representations of the nanomanufacturing process, (ii) designing components to be included in the platform such as  process descriptions, characterization approaches, and modeling and simulation tools, (iii) providing experimental and/or computational data sets, and (iv) participating in a distributed online network to provide process equipment, experiments, and data capture for remote users.

Examples of nanomanufacturing processes of interest include, but are not limited to: 2D materials synthesis and processing (chemical or mechanical exfoliation, chemical reduction, CVD, scalable approaches to assembly, post-growth processing), two photon lithography, ion milling, and nanomechanical processes (machining and burnishing). Any nanoscale process that has a large community interest and potential user base that may benefit from community-scale sharing of data and expertise is of interest.

Collaborations.  Collaboration projects will occur in two stages, for a total of a 12-month period. The terms of the collaboration will be discussed together with the node leadership, but typically support one full-time graduate research assistant at the institution of the external collaborator for the 12-month duration. Additionally, support may be provided for materials and supplies for experiments, if data is being generated as part of the work.

  • Stage I Collaboration Project: (estimated 3-month duration)

We will work with our external collaborators (you) to identify and design the key components of the virtual platform. This process will involve carrying out interviews of potential platform users to identify community needs and desirable features, and completing an I-Corps style tool development canvas.

  • Stage II Collaboration Project: (estimated 9-month duration)

We will carry out full-scale development of the platform, including software, nanoHUB application, and integration with the MDF and OSCM.

* Upon successful completion of the Stage I activities and evidence of community interest in the platform, it is expected that platform development will advance to the Stage II phase.

Request for Project Information. We ask potential collaborators to prepare a brief (no longer than 3 pages) description of the platform they are interested in developing in collaboration with nanoMFG. The description should include the following information:

  • Description of the nanomanufacturing process for which the platform will be built, and its current stage of industrial adoption (early, medium, late).
  • Evidence of community interest in the selected process. Who is the potential user base that will make use of this platform?
  • Description of the expected types of data being generated
    • Experimental – synthesis, characterization
    • Computational – models, simulation, …
  • Whether you intend to provide experimental equipment to include as part of the virtual network
  • How the data sharing platform may stimulate research, accelerate knowledge, and ultimately accelerate industrial adoption of the process.

The node expects initiate between 1-3 collaborations this year. Requests will be accepted on a rolling basis, but initial decisions will be made in early August for requests submitted by August 1 2020.  Requests received after August 1 will be reviewed based on availability of funds. Please send your request to

The NSF Nanomanufacturing Node is led by Narayan Aluru, Elif Ertekin, and Placid Ferreira at the University of Illinois and Hayden Taylor at the University of California, Berkeley. More information about the NSF Nanomanufacturing Node can be found on our website. We encourage those interested in submitting a request to contact us to discuss planned ideas and activities in advance of request submission.

Please contact or for more information.