Roadmap and ecosystem

Vision and Mission

The Nano-Opto-Mechanical Instruments (NOMI) ecosystem was setup based on the following vision of the future:

  • We see a future where humanity will solve many of future’s challenges in data, energy and life sciences by a continuous miniaturization in device fabrication down to an atomic scale.

The NOMI-ecosystem thus defines its mission as follows:

  • We develop the technologies that enable exploration and exploitation of the atom-scale world level leading to the real-world applications.
  • We turn inventions into innovations (and valorize on the ecosystem investments) by collaboration with existing commercial partners but also act as an incubator to start new/joint ventures (example: Nearfield Instruments). These ventures make use of the NOMI-ecosystem technology research to create the instruments to image, measure and fabricate devices at the level of individual atoms at a humanly acceptable and economically attractive level.

NOMI-ecosystem way of working

Recent developments in nano-science and –technology (a.o. semiconductor, nanoelectronics, energy, life science, quantum technology) have shown the tremendous increased need for Nano-Opto-Mechanical Instruments (NOMI). As one of the world leaders in this field, the current NOMI-ecosystem, led by TNO, has established the NOMI roadmap for short, mid and long term developments. Establishing a focused program (externally oriented) with one or two other world leading research partners (university, research centers, etc.) and industrial partners to complement the current NOMI uniqueness will lead to a unique innovation ecosystem with a clear focus on applied technology development and product valorisation.

Some of the technologies developed in the NOMI-ecosystem have already entered a transformational phase from early research to application-driven technologies ready for product engineering. This allows the NOMI-ecosystem to function as an incubator, with Nearfield Instruments as the first example.

So, in such an innovation ecosystem a close, autonomous and sustainable relation with both research and industrial partners will not only boost the speed of advancements and shorten the pre-launch research period for products, but also helps in focusing the direction of the research and development based on industrial needs; factors that are extremely important in allocation of funding to new projects.

NOMI roadmap is our Focus

The driver behind the NOMI roadmap is the Industrial and societal grand challenges.

NOMI enables new directions to fundamental science and industrial applications with societal impact. NOMI invents, develop and proof nanoinstruments that are used to manipulate and study the nanoscale systems and translate our fundamental scientific discoveries to commercial applications.

Currently NOMI has three applications roadmaps, and, to execute the applications roadmaps, it has five research & technology roadmaps. Each application roadmap has an “icon” , that is considered as the man-on-the-moon of that roadmap. Figure below shows summary of the technology and application roadmap of NOMI.

The applications roadmaps are as following

1. Semiconductor manufacturing process metrology

Introduction of 3D IC (e.g. 3DNAND, GAA FETs)  and further scaling brings major metrology and characterization challenges that cannot be met anymore by current techniques. The High Volume Manufacturing industry needs, more than ever, metrology methods that routinely measure structural and material parameters at atomic level in nm-sized structures, with atomic precision, with high throughput, for an ever increasing set of combinations of new materials in 3D structures.

2. Bio-medical instrumentation (Cancer and Viral infections diagnosis)

Providing a personalized treatment to the patients, reducing the use of not effective antibiotics, increasing safety in blood transfusions, allowing a quick and trustworthy response to emergency situations (e.g. recent EBOLA in West Africa and the ZIKA in Brazil), reducing the spread of viral infections, reducing costs per analysis and screening of a wide range of pathogens.

3. Gravitational wave (GW) sensing

Together with several international partners, the goal of this roadmap is to create small nano-optomechanical devices that will amplify the signals in gravitational wave detectors. It has been shown recently that a nanoscale suspended (nanowires) tiny mirrors controlled by laser light, can allow for very high resolution GW sensing.