About Us

Birck Nanotechnology Center is home to 220 resident graduate students, 60 faculty and more than 40 engineering, scientific and administrative staff. Research groups come from six academic colleges (engineering, science, agriculture, pharmacy, polytechnic and veterinary medicine). The facility includes one of the largest and cleanest university cleanrooms (25,000 sf, 20% class 1, the remainder is class 10,100 and 1000). This includes one of the first integration of biopharma and semiconductor cleanrooms in universities. Birck is a user facility for an additional 300 users from more than 125 academic units across campus and from outside industries & universities. Students and researchers have access to 33,000 sf of shared labs with state-of-the-art nano fabrication and nano characterization tools. Shared labs and office space provide ample opportunities for students to learn from each other and to work on societal grand challenge problems. Some of the state-of-the-art equipment include Themis double aberration corrected TEM, Helios FIB, Apreo SEM, XPS and Omicron surface analysis, and JEOL 6300 e-beam writer among others. 

Main research thrusts are nano electronics including spintronics, 2D materials, quantum and probabilistic computing, nano/quantum photonics and meta materials, micro/nano electro mechanical systems (MEMS), nanobio, lab-on-a-chip, 3D cell culture facility, surface science and AFM, nano energy conversion devices as well as roll-to-roll nano manufacturing. One of the latest initiatives is in secure/trusted electronics. Birck faculty bring $25-30M/year in external research funding. 
Birck is home to the SMART industry consortium focused on printed low-cost internet of things (IoT) devices; LyoHUB, a consortium of more than 20 pharmaceutical companies working to improve freeze drying techniques; as well as Microsoft Station Q at Purdue. Birck is leading a $19.8M Lilly Endowment project at Purdue, the Wabash Heartland Innovation Network (WHIN). The goal is to develop community IoT testbeds in digital agriculture and in next generation manufacturing in the ten counties surrounding our university. The WHIN region includes 400,000 residents with more than 250 small and medium manufacturers as well as 2,000 farmers. Our goal is to create one of the most sensored regions where IoT and data analytics help create a high tech ecosystem around Purdue.

Birck researchers bring theory and experiment together by working closely with nanoHUB (an NSF center headquartered at Purdue) which develops latest simulation tools as well as nanotechnology educational material. Recently, we have expanded collaborations with College of Liberal Arts by organizing shark tank Storytelling Competition with Brian Lamb School of Communication as well as with Arts and Design, Regenstreif center, and Krannert Business Analytics program by co-organizing Purdue 2050 Conference of the Future as a part of Purdue’s 150th anniversary events.This interactive conference and design competition focused on the future of technology and society and included sessions on future of healthcare, manufacturing/factories, smart cities/houses, privacy, art and innovation, international theatre telepresence as well as tutorials on quantum and on nanotechnology, IoT and data analytics.

Birck center has active outreach programs such as NanoDays, Grandparents University and advanced manufacturing week. More than 2,000 visitors tour the facility every year. They come to see the latest research and exhibits that include introduction to nanotechnology, community IoT testbed as well as digital Borneo.