The Arizona Commerce Authority has awarded the College of Engineering $35.5 million in funding to expand a facility that supports manufacturing and research efforts involving semiconductors, computer chips, optical devices and quantum computing systems.
The cleanroom facility is known as the Micro/Nano Fabrication Center, or MNFC. The funding will also support expansion of training and educational modules to ensure that the state of Arizona will have the workforce needed to meet increasing demand in an industry of national importance.
"The Arizona Commerce Authority's investment will help make Arizona a national leader in micro- and nano-fabrication," said David W. Hahn, the Craig M. Berge Dean of the College of Engineering. "The benefits extend far beyond the University of Arizona to our many partner institutions and to the state's workforce, and they extend beyond today's technologies to the light-based and quantum circuits we will employ in the future."
The funds are part of the authority's $100 million commitment announced last year to beef up semiconductor and microelectronics development in the state, increase technological development and create a workforce to support these advanced fabrication industries.
"The MNFC expansion furthers Arizona's semiconductor workforce, supporting the work of students, faculty and industry leaders," said Sandra Watson, president and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. "We're proud to support the University of Arizona with the expansion of this state-of-the-art center, which will serve as a key resource to drive further workforce development and innovation throughout Arizona."