The Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing (CHM) is one of fifteen Nanoscale Science and Engineering Centers sponsored by the U.S. National Science Foundation, and the only one dedicated to advancing the study of continuous-feed nanoscale manufacturing processes. The CHM’s mission as a nanotechnology research center is to develop efficient process platforms and versatile tools for 2-D and 3-D integration of components and systems across multiple length scales. Our ultimate goal is to enable the manufacturing community to make products containing nanostructured devices, components and materials at high production volumes, at low cost, and with low energy and environmental impacts.

The center integrates nanofabrication processes for sub-30 nanometer elements based on directed self-assembly, nanoimprint lithography, high fidelity 3-D polymer template replication, and conformal deposition at the nanoscale, together with high-rate roll-to-roll based production tools and silicon wafer technologies, to yield materials and devices for computing, energy conversion and human health. Our researchers specialize in coating nanostructured hybrid materials that serve as functional device layers, transferring imprinted patterns with nanometer-scale features to thin film with high fidelity, and developing multi-function planarization layers in our world-class test facilities.

The CHM’s test bed program are the heart of process and platform development where promising concepts transition from laboratory results into reliable, rapid, high-yield and transferable methodologies. Applications include flexible electronics, energy generation and storage, membranes and many other areas. CHM test beds include a unique a roll-to-roll process facility for self-assembled materials and devices, including a custom coating line for nanohybrid materials and roll-to-roll nanoimprint tools.   

The CHM’s fundamental science and test bed efforts incorporate faculty and research professionals at UMass Amherst, Binghamton University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Michigan, Mount Holyoke College, University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras and Rice University, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.