The Institute for Electronics and Nanotechnology provides support to researchers in this growing field by the awarding of seed and faculty research grants, providing advanced fabrication infrastructure and staff support in the IEN cleanrooms, proposal development, industry relations assistance, financial, marketing and website support, event planning, and the distribution of communications regarding IEN faculty affiliate research, and the promotion of nanotechnology events on campus.

The Institute for Electronics and Nanotechnology's strategic investments are focused on the miniaturization and integration of micro and nano electronics, however we also support related interdisciplinary in this field, including research into materials, bioengineering, and energy production and storage.

Biomedical Nanotechnology

As the size of nanomaterials is similar to that of most biological molecules and structures, research in the area of applying nanotechnology to biomedical research is developing new and more effective health monitoring systems, medications, and surgical implants.

Examples of these advancements include highly sensitive ‘lab-on-a-chip’ nano-electronic devices that use nanowires to detect protein markers in the blood that indicate cancer cells, or can perform other real-time diagnostic tests in the field. Targeted polymer based nanoparticles for drug delivery to reduce side effects and increase efficacy of therapeutic treatments.  Nanoparticle based contrasting agents for imaging in vivo cellular and biological responses as well as quantum dot dyes that illuminate under UV to track the distribution of substances within the body. Other research has shown tumor cells can be tagged and traced with bioluminescent dyes to help surgery precision in the operating theatre.

Nanotechnology for Energy Storage and Production

Emerging nanotechnology research has profound impact on both traditional oil and gas energy source development, as well as promising new directions in alternative energy sources, such as solar and wind energy production and storage.

Nano-coatings and engineered materials have helped create drills and probes that are resistant to wear and fatigue to extend the lifespan of tools used in traditional energy extraction methods, as well as in the development of geothermal projects. Developments in nano-polymers have led to higher yield solar cells at lower manufacturing and consumer costs, and nano-pore and nano-structured materials have shown promise in the areas of thermal insulation, triboelectric energy production, and high capacity batteries for portable electronics.


ISO standards state that a nanomaterial is, “…material with any external dimension in the nanoscale (size range from approximately 1 – 100 nm) or having internal structure or surface structure in the nanoscale”. At these minute dimensions, materials exhibit characteristics that they do not when studied in bulk. These materials may be a single object on the nanoscale, such as a nanoparticle, or an engineered material with some definitive property on the nanoscale, such as a solid membrane with nano-pores.

Nanomaterials research can be applied in almost any field, and many nanomaterials are already in use in consumer products, such as UV reflecting sunscreen, paints that resist pollution deposition, and stain resistant textiles. Current research in nanomaterials is exploring its potential applications in transistors and interconnects for microelectronics, thermal management of electronics and data centers, radiation and toxic gas sensing, high-efficiency lighting, and energy production and storage.

Nanoscale Optics & Photonics

Nanophotonics or nano-optics is the study of the behavior of light on the nanometer scale, and of the interaction of nanometer-scale objects with light. Much new research in integrated circuits is the result of advances in optical lithography, the method by which sum 100nm patterns are etched using ultraviolet and extreme ultraviolet light. 

The applications for photonic devices include optical data recording, fiber optic telecommunications, laser printing, LED and OLED displays, and optical pumping of high-power lasers. Future applications include rapid chemical synthesis and medical diagnostics, on-chip data communication, and novel laser defense systems.

Supporting Nanotechnology @ Georgia Tech's Schools and Colleges

IEN is an Interdisciplinary Research Institute (IRI) comprised of faculty and students interested in using the most advanced fabrication and characterization tools, and cleanroom infrastructure, to facilitate research in micro- and nano-scale materials, devices, and systems. Applications of this research span all disciplines in science and engineering with particular emphasis on biomedicine, electronics, optoelectronics and photonics, and energy applications. As there can be a learning curve associated with initial proof-of-concept development and testing using cleanroom tools, SENIC @ IEN has developed a seed grant program to expedite the initiation of new graduate students and new research projects into productive activity. Successful proposals to this program have spanned the Colleges and Schools at GT. Expand the below blocks to see research topics supported under this program.

School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Yutong Wu (PI Nian Liu, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering), In-Electrolyte Microscale Probing of Electrochemical Reactions and Processes, 2017

Alexandra Tsoras (PI Julie Champion, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering), Engineering S-layer Autotransporter Protein Nanoparticles for Rickettsia Applications, 2016

Jared Schwartz, working with PI Paul Kohl of the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, for Materials and Structures Enabling Vanishing Optically Triggered Sensors, 2014

School of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Darshit Patel (PI Billyde Brown, Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute), 3D Microsupercapacitors for On-Chip Integration with Emerging Electronics, 2017

Congshan Wan (PI Muhannad Bakir and Tom Gaylord, Electrical and Computer Engineering), First Circular Waveguide Grating-Via-Grating for Interlayer Optical Coupling, 2017

Nujhat Tasneem (PI Asif Khan, Electrical and Computer Engineering), Co-integration of Logic and Non-volatile Memory in Front-End-of-the-Line (FEOL) Processes, 2017

Blaine Costello (PI Jeff Davis, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering), Dielectric Interfacial Capacitive Energy Storage (DICES) Experiments, 2016

Ruxiu Liu (PI Fatih Sarioglu, Electrical and Computer Engineering), Microfluidic Chip for Label-Free Single Cell Analysis, 2015

Xinyi Gong (PIs Erik Shipton, Raj Pulugurtha, and Rao Tummala, GTRI, Packaging Research Center, and Electrical and Computer Engineering), Magnetic Nanoarrays for Ultra-miniaturized Micro- and mm-wave Structure, 2013-2014

Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

Colby Lewallen & Tim Lee (PI Craig Forest, Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering), Development of Substrates for High-Throughput Neuro-Anatomical Circuit Reconstruction, 2017

Ichael Griffin (PI David Ku, Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering), Investigation of 3D Lithography Methods: Applications to High Shear Microfluidic Thrombosis Assays, 2017

Arith Rajapakse (PI Anna Erickson, Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering), Ionizing Radiation Detection Using a Vertically Aligned Carbon Nanotube Array Transistor, 2017

Saswat Mishra (PI Woon-Hong Yeo, Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering), Stretchable Hybrid Electronics for Wireless Monitoring of Salivary Electrolytes Assays, 2017

Aravindh Rajan & Patrick Creamer (PI Shannon Yee, Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering), Creating Thermionic Devices and Thermal Rectifiers, 2016

Francisco Quintero Cortes (PI Matthew McDowell, Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science and Engineering), Controlling Interfaces in Ceramic Ion Conductors for Next-Generation Lithium Batteries, 2016

Mason Chilmonczyk (PI Andrei Fedorov, Mechanical Engineering), Micro/Nanofabrication of Mass Spectrometry Probe for Single-Cell-Scale Biochemical Imaging, 2015

Zhipeng Pan (PI Shuman Xia, Mechanical Engineering), Nanofabrication of Lithuim-Ion Battery Electrodes with Embedded Multiphysics Sensors, 2013-2014

Serife Tol (PI Alper Erturk, Mechanical Engineering), Bistable Snap-through MEMS Systems for Ultra-broadband Nonlinear Energy Harvesting from Elastoacoustic Wave, 2013-2014

David Brown, working with PI Satish Kumar of the School of Mechanical Engineering, for On-Chip Thermoelectric Generators Using Si Nanowire Arrays. 2013-2014

School of Biological Sciences

Ryan Randall (PI Eric Gaucher, Biology), Engineering Protein-based BioInks for 2D Printing, 2015

Materials Science and Engineering

Virginia Liao, working with PI Brent Wagner of The Georgia Tech Research Institute, for A Thin Film Sensor for the Selective Detection of Low Hydrogen Concentrations, 2013-2014

Jun Chen (PI ZL Wang, Materials Science and Engineering), Piezo-phototronic Vertical Nanowire-LEDs Array for Reconfigurabel/Tunable Optoelectronics, 2013-2014

Ning Xia (PI Rosario Gerhardt, Materials Science and Engineering), An Indium Tin Oxide Ink for All-Printing Liquid Crystal Display Devices, 2015

Eric Tervo (PI Baratunde Cola, Materials Science and Engineering & Mechanical Engineering), A Proposal for Fabrication and Characterization of Surface Phonon Polariton Metamaterials, 2015