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CNF Commercialization, Small Business Support, and Foundry Partners

Cornell NanoScale Facility and Cornell University are uniquely capable of working with businesses to expand their horizons. Your business! CNF has enabled over $1B in economic activity. Read on to find out how we can support the success of your business. 

CNF & Partners • In The News....

FuzeHub! We would like to bring your attention to this new funding opportunity for New York State small companies doing near term work on product development. CNF is an eligible applicant and can work with you to submit an application. A limited number of submissions can be made from Cornell. Therefore proposals are competed internally at Cornell through the Office of the Vice Provost for Research. Please contact us if you have a project that meets the programmatic goals and requirements. http://fuzehub.com/

Cornell looks to make PARADIM shift with $25M NSF grant


Press Release: Oxford Etching Process
Date: February 24, 2016


CNF and Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology (OIPT), UK, have collaborated to develop a novel etching process targeted specifically at magnetic random-access memory MRAM based device fabrication. These results, obtained at CNF, add a significant contribution to OIPT's large portfolio of etching processes.


Press Release: Monolith Semi
Date: December 18, 2015

Dear CNF friends:

Just passing along news that Monolith Semi continues growing down here in Austin.  We owe a lot to your help at CNF, by fostering an experimental lab where we could test out our ideas quickly.  Please find here a link to a press release regarding our recently-announced strategic partnership with Littelfuse. In addition to our current technical capability, this partnership with Littelfuse greatly expands Monolith Semiconductor’s customer reach. We have a lot of work still to do, but we continue building our ability to deliver efficient SiC power devices to our customers.

Thank you for all of your support in the early days of Monolith Semi, and please know that you have made a lasting impact on us.

Warmest regards for a Happy Christmas and Peaceful New Year,

Kevin Matocha, PhD
Monolith Semiconductor Inc.


If your company would like to sponsor our next annual meeting (Sept. 14), which will also be our 40th anniversary celebration,
please contact Don Tennant,
CNF Director of Operations





The Commercialization of
Nanotechnology Workshop,

::2017::  StartUp CNF  ::2017::
CNF loves to help launch new companies and create high tech jobs! We know that the costs associated with moving your processing work to a new fab can be a barrier. As an incentive for US-based small businesses (<10 employees) — including Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Awardees — to explore the use of the Cornell NanoScale Facility (CNF), StartUP CNF provides up to $3000 of (1:1) matching funds that can be applied towards the first use of the CNF Shared Facility*.
To get STARTED with StartUp CNF, fill out the application StartUpCNFApplication2017.pdf


Key Nanotechnology Infrastructure

CNF is a member of the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI) and thus plays a critical role in commercialization of the nanotechnology revolution. While most CNF users are academic, CNF makes a key contribution to nanotechnology innovation and commercialization by providing both small and large companies with advanced facilities for research and development. Each year, CNF hosts researchers from small and large companies. Sometimes these are for short projects, but often these users engage in long term development projects, using CNF extensively or even exclusively. For many of these companies, CNF played a critical part in their R&D during their formative stages.

The CNF can be thought of as a nanotechnology incubator, most useful in the research and product development stages. Product and process development can be done using CNF equipment (with the assistance of CNF staff as necessary) for relatively minor cost. Usage is charged on a per hour basis so there is little up-front investment; access to CNF facilities can be arranged within a few weeks if necessary, and the large and flexible equipment base is ideal for testing novel designs, concepts, and materials.


Intellectual Property

As an open user facility, Cornell University makes no intellectual property claim on the work performed by users of the facility.  CNF’s IP policy is pretty simple: Don’t tell us what you don’t want us to know.

Most small companies send experienced process engineers to work at CNF. These users need very little support from CNF staff, other than basic equipment instruction. It is neither necessary nor desirable for users to share their intellectual property with CNF Staff. This allows the users to keep their intellectual property pure, without encumbrance by the CNF. Of course it is possible to create mixed ownership if you ask for and are given specific advice by a CNF staff member. It is extremely rare, however, for this to happen. If you take care to protect your intellectual property, it will remain pure at CNF. Operation in this mode allows us to have the maximum flexibility in serving users and allows our users to start projects with a minimum of legal agreements.

CNF has a small set of experienced users who are available as independent contractors on a short or long term basis. These "contractors" do not work for the CNF, but are available for private hire. This can shorten the learning curve and provide additional intellectual property isolation within CNF. Please take a look at our Remote Work website (http://www.cnf.cornell.edu/cnf_remotework.html).


ITAR/Export Control

While CNF supports a variety of proprietary research, CNF is not, in general, set up for confidential or export controlled research. CNF is under no obligation to participate under these restrictions.


Hand-off to Pilot Production or Manufacturing

For a variety of reasons, CNF is not suitable for manufacturing. Most companies choose to move to alternative settings for pilot production once prototype products have been developed. In some cases, if the technology set is small, companies may choose to set up their own facilities. In other cases, further commercialization is done at one of the smaller development foundries Novati Technologies or STC (see below for details). In some cases, production may be transferred to the pilot facility, while retaining research and development activities within the CNF. Many CNF users have made the transition from research within CNF to production outside of CNF.

CNF is working with STC, Novati, and others to develop a process mapping tool to facilitate transfer of processes from CNF sites to these foundries.

For further information about commercialization of nanotechnology using CNF, please contact Dr. Lynn Rathbun, 607-254-4872, [email].

Cornell NanoScale Facility Partners with Novati Technologies, Inc.

Cornell NanoScale Facility (CNF) is now partners with Novati Technologies Incorporated to further expand capabilities that accelerate nanotechnology commercialization, specifically in cases where larger wafer sizes are required or production volume demands exceed what CNF can provide -- tool map.

Novati Technologies Incorporated: With 68,000 square feet of class 10 clean room space in Austin, Texas (headquarters), and a smaller footprint in Morrisville, NC, operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on a full suite of production-grade CMOS tools [with additional MEMs capabilities], Novati is set up to help develop application-specific manufacturing process flows and provide wafer lot volumes sufficient for the product needs of small-to-mid size companies. Specializing in using over 60 novel materials and tailoring custom, flexible process flows on 200-mm (end-to-end) and 300-mm (short loop) wafers, the Novati team brings unique expertise to be leveraged, be it MEMS product development, 3D integration, heterogeneous integration of compound semiconductors with silicon (2.5D), “test” wafer products for supply chain vendors, or wafer scale production of chips for aerospace and defense, telecom/datacom or the life sciences -- to name a few.

Jeff Wetzel, Novati CTO [email] [www.novati-tech.com]

Contact: Don Tennant, CNF Director of Operations [email]

Cornell NanoScale Facility Partners with STC

Cornell NanoScale Facility (CNF) has partnered with the Smart System Technology & Commercialization Center (STC) in Canandaigua, NY to streamline process design for companies planning to make the transition from R&D to manufacturing of MEMS, sensors, and other microelectronic components.

Researchers working at CNF on products of the future can now develop fabrication processes with an eye toward scaling from R&D into production by incorporating the tool map into their planning at an early stage. The tool map allows process integration engineers to choose processes at CNF that will best align later with process equipment at STC, avoiding some of the overhead that can disrupt the transition. 

CNF staff and facilities have 35 years of experience in enabling and accelerating research and development in a wide range of interdisciplinary fields and operate as part of the NSF supported National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN). STC’s experienced team is focused on meeting customer’s demands for timely and high quality production of pilot to mid-volume MEMS solutions. The STC team consists of industry veterans, with backgrounds in guiding programs through the stages of product commercialization.

Contact: Don Tennant, CNF Director of Operations [email]


Other Cornell Opportunities Available to Businesses

Center for Technology Licensing http://www.ctl.cornell.edu/; CTL is Cornell University's technology transfer office. We manage Cornell technologies from Cornell's Ithaca campus, Weill Cornell Medical Colleges, Cornell Tech, and the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva.

The McGovern Center, http://www.mcgoverncenter.cornell.edu/; Cornell's Incubator for Life Science Companies, the McGovern Center is designed to develop young Cornell life science companies. The Center is funded by Cornell’s Research Division, the Institute of Biotechnology, and a generous gift from Kevin M. McGovern '70 and his family.

StartUpNY at Cornell, http://startupny.cornell.edu/; If you are interested in locating your business nearer to CNF, check out StartUpNY, a tax incentive program for businesses that begin, expand, or relocate here. Qualified businesses have access to tax-free zones in New York State.


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