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Nanotechnology is in the Air!

Issue 19 - 2023
Nanotechnology is in the Air!

by Dr. Nokta Çelik, Dr. Kaan Demirel, Dr. Yılmaz Şimşek &  Prof. Dr. Fazilet Vardar Sukan

"Nanometer" means one billionth of a meter, and at this scale many materials exhibit new qualities distinct from those observed at the macroscopic scale. Nanotechnology, described as the industrial revolution of our age, encompasses multidisiplinary and interdisiplinary studies and applications utilizing the novel features of nanomaterials and nano-systems.

Nanotechnology can be briefly defined as the capacity to operate at the atomic scale; the science and engineering of manipulating atoms in macroscale products, electronics and systems. In addition to altering the natural properties of or incorporating new qualities to materials, nanotechnology enables the design and manufacture of purpose-built molecular structures and systems.

Despite their ultra-small size, nanomaterials and nanosystems exhibit effective properties for functions in diverse fields ranging from packaging to electronics, from food to medicine, and from construction materials to energy.

An Innovative Nanotechnology Center:

SUNUM Sabancı University Nanotechnology Research and Application Center

Sabancı University Nanotechnology Research and Application Center (SUNUM) was established by the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Development and the Sabancı Foundation in 2010. 

SUNUM is one of the first four National Research Infrastructure centers, housing high-calibre researchers and infrastructure for multidisciplinary and cross-disciplinary research and development studies accredited by the Ministry of Industry and Technology and funded since 2017.  

SUNUM has an infrastructure that can serve various sectors in different disciplines with its competence in the design, synthesis and characterization of nanomaterials and nanostructures, and the design and production of micro-nano systems using nanomaterials and structures. It carries out research and development studies in application areas ranging from medicine, chemistry, pharmaceuticals, and energy to cosmetics, the automotive sector, agriculture, food, and the environment, within its 26 laboratories with endowed with modern technical infrastructure unique in Turkey. 

SUNUM, performing as an effective interface between academia and industry, 

provides global nano-technological solutions to societal challenges, creating socio-economic added-value through commercialisation of research results.

It exploits synergies and long term strategic partnerships with stakeholders through joint projects, IP and joint units while contributing to the training of high calibre researchers.

SUNUM is a leading national center of excellence with international prioritites, accessible to all users. It encourages multiple identity of researchers, balancing academic freedom and focused research while emphasizing cross-disciplinary and multidisciplinary approach,  leading to outputs with socio-economic added-value. 

Research and Application areas in  SUNUM

The three main research themes of SUNUM are “Nanomaterial Synthesis & Characterization; Nanostructure Design & Synthesis; Micro / Nano System Design, Integration”, developing pivot technologies for various sectoral applications. “Nanomaterials & Nanostructures” is SUNUM’s horizontal theme where its researchers are focusing on developing new, more efficient sustainable materials for a wide array of industrial sectors. 

SUNUM is engaged in highly effective multidisciplinary research programs in advanced materials, nano-bio technology,  nano-medicine, micro/nano electronics, nano-optics and renewable energy systems.

SUNUM in the field of Space and Aviation

SUNUM has specialized experience in the field of space and aviation such as searching cavity resonance of Josephson plasma waves in layered superconducting materials for THz applications, development of new superconducting qubits for quantum computing application., control of magnetic orientations and electrical resistances in nanoscale structures, RF MEMS switch design and fabrication, uncooled IR microbolometer pixel/array design and fabrication, development of IR/THz absorber thin films, field electron emitter-based micro/nano vacuum diodes and transistors for harsh environment, field electron emitter-based e-gun for miniature X-Ray source.

SUNUM focuses on the cold cathode based technology and its applications in various fields, especially, fabrication of cold cathode structures based on nanofabrication techniques. This technology has found numerous applications in the field of space exploration, satellite systems and aviation. Due to their unique characteristics and operational advantages, cold cathode devices have become a popular choice for various space-based applications. Its use in ion propulsion, electron guns for various systems, spacecraft charging mitigation and avionics systems demonstrates its significance in advancing space exploration, satellite communication, aviation safety, and instrumentation.

SUNUM Laboratories provide an extensive variety of laboratory services using the most modern technology and methodologies to get the most accurate and reliable results. SUNUM offers services that can meet the requirements of industries – from comprehensive laboratory tests to technical and equipment training programs. 

In the field of space and aviation, SUNUM offers services for prototyping new materials and conducting their characterizations in the following laboratories:

• Material Characterization Lab

• Advanced Electron Microscopy Lab

• Advanced Microscopy Techniques Lab

• 3D System Design and Fabrication Lab

• Tissue & Regenerative Engineering Lab

• Anechoic Chamber

• Microfluidics & Microthermal Systems Lab

• Energy Lab

• Quantum Transport & Nanoelectronics Lab

Clean Room in SUNUM

Contamination is a critical issue in aviation and space studies. Turkey's leading Clean Room infrastructure with the world's most important standards is located in SUNUM. SUNUM's Clean Room, Class 100-1000 (ISO 5,6) for Micro/Nanofabrication, covers an area of 850 m2 for micro and nanofabrication processes such as patterning/lithography, thin film deposition/coating, dry/wet etching, test/characterization/packaging. 

SUNUM’s high-quality clean room consists of state-of-the art equipment for manufacturing micro/nanoscale systems in a wide-range of applications areas such as communications, health, defense, environmental, and energy sectors. SUNUM also has technical personnel who have expertise in the development and implementation of standard operating procedures, process development, support of external service demands, and training of new users. 

SUNUM invites space and aviation people join nanotechnologic journey 

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