Cluster R is a new industry consortium program on Roll-to-Roll Nanomanufacturing at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, one of a number of academic-industry groups within the Center for UMass-Industry Research on Polymers (CUMIRP). Please take a moment to share some information on your company's preferences related to pre-commercial research that may be undertaken by UMass Amherst researchers under Cluster R sponsorship.

* 1. How interested would your company be in the following research projects that may be pursued under Cluster R sponsorship?

  Little Interest Moderate Interest Strong Interest
1. Planarization. The development of cost-effective and robust planarization layers is essential for many applications. This project will involve the use of in-line planarization to achieve 1 nm RMS surfaces as a low-cost alternative to pre-planarized films. The approach can be adapted for introducing functionality into the layer.
2. Imprint Embossing and Patterning. The goal is to develop conditions to enable a wide variety of continuous process fabrication methods. Critical dimension size of imprinted features may vary widely depending upon application but will be optimized to 50 nm for arbitrary patterns and 1-5 nm for large area nano-texturing for self-assembly. While production speeds of 25 M/min are attainable, speeds up to 1 M/min are envisioned for nanopattern transfer. Other parameters being studied and optimized include patterns aspect ratio (> 10:1), minimization of residual layer (< 5 nm), wet and dry etch, adhesion to substrate and release from mold, and substrate variation (PET, PEN, Polyimide, paper).
3. Alternative Conducting Layers. There is a clear and immediate need for alternative conducting films for device applications especially in the area of transparent conductors. This project will explore the development of polymer/nanoparticle and polymer/additive systems to achieve coatable films with excellent conductivity.
4. Nanoporous Membranes. Many applications require nanometer-scale porosity on a supported or unsupported film. This project will explore the use of block copolymer additive systems in which the additive undergoes phase selective chemistry or is used as a porogen that can be selectively removed to generate robust films with well-defined pores.
5. Functional Hybrid Films. Many applications require thin polymer films whose behavior is defined by additive packages. This project will explore the design and development of polymer/additive films with high loadings of a functional component such as a nanoparticle. Targets include high refractive index films, polymer-based films with high or low dielectric strength and semiconducting films with improved carrier mobility.
6. Coating of Viscoelastic Fluids. Many applications will require the production of films from coating fluid containing polymer and/or nanoparticle additives. The resulting fluids can become rheologically complex. This project will explore the effect that viscoelasticity has on gravure and slot coating systems so that they can be optimized for use with a wide spectrum of coating fluids.
7. R2R Integration Issues. This project will begin to explore challenges for device integration on the web. Potential projects could include selective area metallization by lift-off or etching through a NIL mask.
8. Design for Manufacturability. To lower development time and cost in R2R production of multifunctional devices, this project will focus on design-process prototyping to establish design rules for simple devices that utilize heterogeneous nanostructured materials to combine electronic, magnetic and optical properties on a continuous line. Low-cost signal manipulation, sensing, power management, and communication are key issues.

* 2. As a potential member of Cluster R, what would you need to know more about in order for your company to make a decision to join?

* 3. Who should we contact to follow up with your company on membership in the Cluster R consortium? (you or someone else in your organization)

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