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April 24, 2017

CUNY Advanced Science Research Center’s NanoFabrication Facility offers New Yorkers direct access to their multi-million-dollar space and equipment

Perched on a hilltop at 85 St. Nicholas Terrace in Harlem, CUNY Advanced Science Research Center’s NanoFabrication Facility is home to cutting-edge nanotechnology companies. As part of Futureworks NYC, ASRC is opening up access to more New Yorkers and offering up multi-million-dollar equipment at a fraction of traditional costs. The NanoFabrication Facility’s 5,000-sq-ft cleanroom with microscopy instrumentation, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, ion mass spectrometry, nanolithography and much more. The tools are complex, but the access is simple – startups, entrepreneurs, industrial manufacturers and academics can rent by the hour.

ASRC attracts companies ranging from biotech and consumer electronics to semiconductors, watchmaking, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. The NanoFabrication Facility caps its price so that even if you burn the midnight candle, your overall price doesn’t increase past a certain point.

Firehouse Horology places a new silicon hairspring into a mechanical watch at ASRC.

“ASRC makes it so easy for companies to do their work … without bureaucracy or red tape,” says Firehouse Horology Cofounder Kiran Shekar. That means a cheaper, faster, more iterative product-development lifecycle. Firehouse creates silicon hairsprings for timekeeping precision. Silicon is lighter than traditional steel, anti-magnetic for more accuracy and doesn’t require lubrication. At ASRC, Firehouse uses electron beam lithography and fluorine plasma etching to craft hairsprings down to the nanometer (0.000001 mm). John Tarantino, a Futureworks Incubator Mentor and founder of Martenero, says Firehouse is the only domestic watchmaker exploring this cutting-edge technology. 

Lumiode, a five-person company commercializing products for augmented reality, uses ASRC’s microscopy suite to develop semiconductors with layers of silicon on top of LEDs. They’ve received funding from the National Science Foundation and a round of VC money from a Delaware-based firm. By using the NanoFabrication Facility, Lumiode can use, and learn from, the machines directly rather than hiring engineers to run the equipment.

ASRC’s NanoFabrication Facility is open 24/7 with onsite storage and free training. Read an interview with Facility Director Jacob Trevino or reach out to Jacob.Trevino@asrc.cuny.edu. Join ASRC NanoFab on Twitter and stay up-to-date on opportunities and info via their new NanoNotes blog.


NYCEDC’s Stacey Weismiller, TechShop’s Dan Woods, ASRC’s Jacob Trevino, Imagination in Space’s Greg Spielberg, SecondMuse’s Katey Metzroth, Coalition for Queens’ Casey Rieder and ITAC’s Mary McKay led a panel discussion on Futureworks NYC earlier this Spring. 

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