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The growing importance of nanotechnology for the European Research Area is reflected in the FP6 Thematic Priorities. It is foreseen that most of the projects submitted to the Priority Area 3 (NMP) will need and develop nanopatterning techniques in one way or another. The Emerging Nanopatterning Methods (NaPa) consortium integrates the new patterning methods into one project, both anticipating and responding to the increasing need for technologies, standards and metrology required to harness the new application-relevant properties of engineered structures with nm-scale features.
The NaPa consortium complements the deep UV technology by providing low-cost scalable processes and tools to cover the needs of nanopatterning from CMOS back-end processes through photonics to biotechnology. To achieve this, research in three technology strands is proposed: nanoimprint lithography, soft lithography & self-assembly and MEMS-based nanopatterning. While the former is at a crucial embryonic stage, requiring prompt consolidation to yield its first products in one or two years, the other two will result in applications towards the end of the project. Research in three overarching themes required by all strands: Materials, Tools and Simulation will be undertaken.
NaPa brings together 35 leading academic and industrial European institutions with a vast amount of recent know-how on nanofabrication, partly developed within FP5. In total, 3500 person months will be contributed by the partners to the project.
Complementing R&D, the consortium will design exciting nanoscience and nanoengineering courses to advance the training of the next generation of scientists and engineers and to create a positive attitude towards science among young people. Dissemination activities towards the lay public and sectors underrepresented in nanotechnology form an integral part in NaPa. Thus, NaPa offers a unique opportunity to unleash the potentials of nanotechnology in Europe.