Nanosystems technologies (NST’s) are making possible the construction of complex systems that possess the benefits of high integration of multi-disciplinary technologies and small size. NST’s include microelectronics, micro-fluidics, micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS), nano-electro-mechanical systems (NEMS) and photonics. Several technologies are often combined on a single nanosystem device, enabling the production of powerful devices. Microsystem devices are already greatly impacting our lives, and over the next decades, NST’s will impact our world as much as microelectronics has done over the last 30 years.

The expected impact of NST has resulted in nanotechnology being identified as a strategic area by governments worldwide. The investment by government organizations in 2003 was over $2.5 billion US. Canada is reacting to this opportunity by investing in several NST research facilities, including the Nano-Systems laboratory at the University of Manitoba. The Nano-Systems Fabrication Laboratory (NSFL) was established to support the nanotechnology efforts of University of Manitoba researchers and Manitoba industry. It is the only facility in Manitoba, and one of only a handful in Canada, capable of micro/nano-scale manufacturing.

Examples of ongoing research: MEMS for next generation smart adaptive antennas for vehicle systems and telecommunications, Nano-probe instruments for in-situ IC testing and material science, Molecular Junctions, low dimensional junctions, Micro-sensors for electric and magnetic field sensing, Sensors for structural health monitoring for Civil Engineering, Investigation of nano-system fabrication technologies, Micro-pressure sensors for human hearing studies, Micro-tweezer systems, Micro-fluidics for thermal cooling, energy storage, and bio-sensors, Ultra thin films for nanoelectronics and bio-sensors, Large deflection micro-mirrors for optical switching, microfluidics, microresonators, sensors, and Biomems.

Participating Researchers: Bridges, Buchanan, Oliver, Shafai, Thomson, Wang