Alumna Van Truskett Awarded the AIChE Industrial Research & Development Award
Van N. Truskett, B.S. ChE ‘96 and jetting technology manager at Canon Nanotechnologies, Inc., has been awarded the 2014 Industrial Research & Development Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE).
The award honors individuals or teams working in industries served by chemical engineers for innovation that has resulted in the successful commercialization of new products and/or new processes for making useful products.
Truskett is being recognized for her contributions to the development of core technology used in Jet and FlashTM Imprint Lithography (J-FILTM), which has been incorporated into more than 10 different imprint lithography products targeting high volume manufacturing. Her innovations in drop-on-demand dispense methods have aided J-FILTM in replicating structures as small as 10 nanometers to enable high-capacity flash memory, hard disk drives and flat panel display markets.
Truskett’s industry career began at Molecular Imprints, Inc., a nanotechnology startup that emerged from the Austin Technology Incubator at The University of Texas at Austin and was founded by Cockrell School of Engineering Professors S.V. Sreenivasan and Grant Willson. The company was recently acquired by Canon, Inc. of Japan — forming Canon Nanotechnologies, Inc. — where Truskett’s work will continue to shape the J-FILTM system that has revolutionized the approach for effectively replicating nanoscale features.
“Over the years, Van led the way for our company to offer some of our most advanced, technically feasible products with world-class capabilities,” said Paul Hellebrekers, senior vice president of product engineering and operations at Canon Nanotechnologies, Inc. “According to our research, these capabilities have not been shown by any other entity worldwide as a released, commercial offering.”
J-FILTM uses field-by-field deposition of the resist liquid onto a substrate using drop-on-demand inkjet, rather than traditional spin-on coating of the entire substrate surface. The nanoscale patterned mask is lowered onto the liquid, where capillary action facilitates the flow into the relief patterns. Upon complete filling, the resist is UV-cured, the mask is removed and the patterned resist is left on the substrate surface. This patterning technology applies resist where necessary, eliminating material waste and providing a level for process adjustability with drop-on-demand dispense. J-FILTM is also low-cost as a result of not having complicated optics in the imprint system.
(Basic steps of the J-FILTM process.)
“Drop pattern generating technologies that have been developed under Van’s direction provide the blueprint for the high-volume manufacturing of nanoscale patternable media, which will have an enormous impact on the microelectronics industry, particularly as it relates to high-density storage,” said Charles Maldarelli, chemical engineering professor in the Levich Institute at City College of New York.
In just 10 years, Truskett has filed 59 patents (15 U.S. and 44 international). These patents not only constituted Molecular Imprints’ core jetting technology, they have also guided the design and development of the company’s nanoimprinting process. These patents now lay the foundations for Canon Nanotechnologies’ next generation of imprint lithography tools.
After completing her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at UT Austin, Truskett went on to receive her Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Johns Hopkins University in 2002. She was nominated for a Tech Innovations Award by the Austin Business Journal in 2009 and was a NASA Graduate Student Researchers Program Fellow in 2001, 2000 and 1999.
The Industry Research & Development Award was presented at the Honors Ceremony on Nov.16 during AIChE’s 2014 Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia.
Tags: 2014 AIChE Annual Meeting, AIChE, AIChE Industrial Research & Development Award, Canon Nanotechnologies Inc., chemical engineering, Imprint Lithography, McKetta, UT Austin, Van Truskett