Graduate Student Internship Opportunity at Micross – Apply now

Micross AIT is looking to immediately hire an MS or PhD candidate student with thin film deposition and/or wafer processing experience for a 6 month internship, ideally 20-25 hrs/week. The work schedule is flexible so the student can honor his/her commitments for obtaining his/her degree. The current position is funded from January – June 2019, with an option to extend through the end of the summer. (Please note, student must be a US citizen or permanent resident to apply for this position.)


The internship will initially focus on supporting through-Si Via (TSV) integration process enhancements, including, but not limited to TSV liners, barrier layers, metallization, and plating. Future focus for this position may include thin film deposition and wafer processing for novel MEMS-like device structures. This position will support internally and externally funded development projects.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Hands-on engineering resource for integration process enhancements.
  • Participate and conduct process improvement experiments, accurately recording and reporting data
  • Employ standard troubleshooting protocols

For more information and to apply, please see the job posting.

New method to measure insecticide on mosquito netting

Recently scientists at NC State’s Analytical Instrumentation Facility, working with researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, published new methods to measure the amount of insecticide on mosquito netting. Using time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS), the team studied various samples of mosquito netting to determine the amount of insecticide necessary for the netting to be effective in killing mosquitoes. To learn more, visit the NC State press release or the online journal article.

“Imaging and Quantitative Analysis of Insecticide in Mosquito Net Fibers Using Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (ToF-SIMS)”

Stephen C. Smith, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Chuanzhen Zhou, Fred A. Stevie, and Roberto Garcia, North Carolina State University

Abstract: Time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) analysis was used to qualitatively and quantitatively assess the distribution of permethrin insecticide on the surfaces and interiors of Olyset® long-lasting insecticidal net (LLIN) fibers. Total insecticide content in LLINs has been established using many analytical methods. However, it is important to quantify the bioavailable portion residing on the fiber surfaces for incorporated LLINs. ToF-SIMS is a very surface sensitive technique and can directly image the spatial distribution of permethrin insecticide on the surface of Olyset fibers. Surface permethrin appeared as patchy deposits which were easily removed by acetone and reappeared after several days as interior permethrin migrated (bloomed) from the fiber interior. After a wash/incubation cycle, permethrin deposits were more diffuse and less concentrated than those on the as-received fibers. ToF-SIMS is particularly sensitive to detect the Cl- ion, which is the characteristic ion of permethrin. Ion implantation and quantification of dopants using SIMS is well established in the semiconductor industry. In this study, quantitative depth profiling was carried out using 35Cl ion implantation to correlate secondary ion yield with permethrin concentration, yielding a limit of detection of 0.051 wt% for permethrin. In some cases, surface concentration differed greatly from the fiber interior (>1 µm below the surface). Two- and three-dimensional mapping of Cl at sub-micrometer resolution showed permethrin to be dissolved throughout the fiber, with about 2 vol% residing in disperse, high-concentration domains. This suggests that these fibers fall into the class of monolithic sustained-release devices. It is expected that ToF-SIMS can be a valuable tool to provide insight into the insecticide release behavior of other LLIN products, both current and future.

CHANL’s Bob Geil Recognized as a Hero in Austria

In late September, Bob Geil received an email from Stephan Kaseman, a scientist at the FH Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences in Dornbirn, Austria. Stephan’s Deep Reactive Ion Etcher (DRIE) had stopped working after some damaged components were replaced, and he could not find anyone to help him service the system. As a long shot, he reached out to Bob because CHANL has the same DRIE system. Bob shared over 40 screen shots of the DRIE’s configuration files with the Austrian scientist to help troubleshoot! They exchanged emails ~25 more times to gather additional configuration files. After this substantial effort, Stephan recently emailed Bob to let him know that the system was operational again, stating, “I think I’ll print out your photo from the UNC website and stick it to the machine’s control rack, marked with the caption Hero.” Apparently he was not kidding. Congrats to Bob on his elevation to hero status!


RTNN Celebrates Nano Day in Chapel Hill

On October 13th, RTNN honored National Nanotechnology Day at the Chapel Hill Public Library. Visitors were invited to explore science at the nanoscale by participating in a variety of hands-on activities. Library patrons tried on clean room suits, made “nano” ice cream, designed photomasks, examined samples with light microscopes, and more! Participants and volunteers had a blast celebrating the nanometer and learning from each other. The RTNN will return to the library in April 2019 with a scanning electron microscope in tow during the North Carolina Science Festival.

RTNN Honors 2018 Award Recipients

The RTNN is pleased to announce its outstanding 2018 award recipients. The awardees were all honored at a dinner reception.

Collaborative Research Award

Dr. Khara Grieger and Maryam Khazaee were co-recipients of the Collaborative Research Award. The collaborative research award seeks to identify outstanding research projects, papers, and/or presentations that leverage the resources, equipment, and/or expertise available through the RTNN. Khara is an environmental scientist at RTI, International and won for her collaborative work, “Ensuring Sustainable Innovation of Water Treatment Technologies using Engineered Nanomaterials.” This project, a collaboration with Duke and NC State, supports the development of safe and sustainable water treatment systems that rely on engineered nanomaterials. This was performed through the selection, application, and testing of risk screening tools for a select group of nanomaterials proposed for use in water treatment technologies.

Maryam is a Visiting Doctoral Researcher in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Duke University. (Home Institution: University of Duisburg-Essen). Her project, “Fabrication and Characterization of Multidimensional Semiconducting Bismuth Halides for Electronic Applications,” was accomplished through the collaboration and communication among five teams of scientists from Duke, NC State, UNC Chapel Hill, Dalhousie (Canada), and Duisburg-Essen (Germany). The work utilized Duke University’s Shared Materials Instrumentation Facility (SMIF), the Chapel Hill Analytical and Nanofabrication Laboratory (CHANL) (X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS)), and NC State’s Analytical Instrumentation Facility (AIF).

Student Outreach Awards

Justin Norkett (NC State), Nicole Smiddy (UNC), and Maxine Gorelick (Duke) have been awarded student outreach awards to recognize their exemplary leadership, initiative, and ongoing commitment to the mission of expanding access to RTNN nanotechnology user facilities.

Justin has been involved in STEM outreach through the NCSU Department of Materials Science and Engineering for eight years. During this time, he has independently developed and documented over 100 experiments suitable for K-12 students. On average, he is interacting with over 100 students per month. For the Summer 2018 camp, he integrated his PhD research project into the student experiments, preparing a simulated failure analysis activity based on his dissertation topic, liquid metal embrittlement. He used AIF at NC State to demonstrate the power of electron microscopy for examining the nanoscale structure of materials and how that relates to their macroscopic behavior.

Nicole participates in a number of activities for CHANL including doing an in lab demo for the Coursera course and helping to coordinate and execute remote SEM sessions for schools and outreach partners.  Nicole has also become an expert in taking and interpreting force measurements on cells with the CHANL AFM.  She has developed material for and led workshop sessions in the Forces in Biology workshop run by the Superfine lab at UNC.  Nicole has made a positive impact on CHANL’s outreach activities, and has done an amazing job in this role!

Maxine has been an exceptionally important resource for SMIF’s K-12 outreach efforts. She has worked numerous hours with many different school groups. Maxine has a unique and valuable ability to engage and connect with students. She can explain complex scientific information is a way anyone could understand. Students loved getting the chance to talk with Maxine about what it is like to be an undergraduate at Duke.

More information about the awards can be found on the RTNN Awards page.