Thinking big on a small scale

Thinking big on a small scale

Nano fabrication laboratory provides the ability to explore and create affordable prototypes.

By Anne Craig

January 19, 2017


The Kingston Nano-Fabrication Laboratory has a new name and a new logo. Now known as NanoFabrication Kingston (NFK), the name highlights the facility’s prototyping capabilities and its potential for fostering regional innovation.

The lab was established at Innovation Park in 2015 as a partnership between Queen’s and CMC Microsystems and is funded through the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation. It enables researchers and industry to explore new frontiers in the design, creation and testing of innovations on an extremely small scale.

“As a collaboration of Queen’s and CMC Microsystems, NanoFabrication Kingston highlights the benefits of convergence,” says Dr. Steven Liss, Vice-Principal (Research) at Queen’s University. “The new enhancements to the lab, including the exciting new infrastructure, will provide even more opportunity for collaboration and partnership, and further develop Kingston’s innovation ecosystem.”

To complement the rebranding, the lab has just completed installation of three pieces of new equipment for deposition, patterning and etching of materials with greater ease, speed and precision.

The NFK’s highly specialized equipment and advanced expertise provide users with more automated, faster and cost-effective methods and processes for transforming innovative research into physical prototypes. Prototyping is an expensive but crucial step in developing the materials, components and circuitry that drive the future of technological innovation. This lab helps to remove a key barrier to advancing novel technologies to working prototypes.

“The new logo, a bold black and gold geometric shape, suggestive of origami, was chosen for its strong, clean lines and its three-dimensional look,” says Richard Oleschuk, professor of chemistry at Queen’s and chair of the NFK Science and Management Committee. “It suggests the idea of transformation, and about thinking big on a small scale. That’s what this lab is going to help us do.”

Queen’s distinguishes itself as one of the leading research-intensive institutions in Canada. The mission is to advance research excellence, leadership and innovation, as well as enhance Queen’s impact at a national and international level. Through undertaking leading-edge research, Queen’s is addressing many of the world’s greatest challenges, and developing innovative ideas and technological advances brought about by discoveries in a variety of disciplines.