By  Nanoscale Materials Characterization Facility (NMCF)

Along with the University of Virginia's Innovations in Fabrication Lab (IFAB), the Nanoscale Materials Characterization Facility (NMCF) has been earmarked as part of the Virginia Alliance for Semiconductor Technology (VAST), which was announced by Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin on April 21, 2023. This $3.3 million initiative is designed to train a 21st-century workforce for the semiconductor and nanotechnology industries via the development of three targeted certification programs: (1) Chip Fabrication and Nano Characterization, (2) Semiconductor Packaging and Characterization and (3) Semiconductor Equipment Maintenance and Repair. Approximately 300 students will be solicted for the training opportunities each year, with underrepresented populations and veterans specifically targeted. Additionally, approximately 100 internships will be available. The VAST initiative was developed by Virginia Tech professor Masoud Agah, who recognized the expertise, leadership and state-of-the-art instrumentation currently available throughout the state of Virginia — but in disparate locations. This project will tie together important resources at the University of Virginia (IFAB and NMCF), with VIrginia Tech, Virginia Commonwealth University, George Mason University, Norfolk State University and Northern Virginia Community College, which will act as separate nodes for the training program. NMCF, under the leadership of professor John Scully and the management of Richard White, will provide essential materials characterization instrumentation training opportunites to VAST students and sample analysis to collaborating institutions. More information about VAST and the VAST Alliance can be found on the Governor's website.