Scalable Manufacturing of
Aware & Responsive Thin Films


Communication and computing advances have revolutionized everyday life. In the near future, society will once again be revolutionized through Internet of Things (IoT), which is the interconnection of sensors embedded in everyday objects to send and receive data. This interconnectivity helps industry track usage, increase personalization and optimize performance.

The huge amount of data generated through IoT gives industries the ability to measure, analyze and optimize their products and their users’ experience. To date, cost has been a major barrier to the widespread implementation of IoT. Traditional silicon-based sensors are powerful but expensive. The preeminent team research focuses on scalable manufacturing techniques that can produce sensors and IoT devices that are 10 to 100 times less expensive.

The Birck Nanotechnology Center in Discovery Park is a $90 million, state-of-the-art nanofabrication and characterization facility that has already engaged leading research groups in nanoelectronics, nanophotonics, MEMS, RF IC design, nanobiotechnology sensors, composite manufacturing, polymer processing, and analytic chemistry. Since 2014, Purdue has invested $3 million in new smart film tools and is leading the Indiana node for the U.S. Department of Defense’s five-year, $171 million effort to launch the Flexible Hybrid Electronics Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NextFlex). Through Birck, the institute focuses on the design, manufacturing and integration of electronics and sensors as well as disposable devices. A pilot IoT/sensor manufacturing plant is being setup which provides an anchor investment to entirely new opportunities for the region. The pilot facility is anticipated to become a magnet attracting high-tech companies to work closely with traditional industries in the Midwest. Current industry partners include Eli Lilly & Co., United Technologies, Applied Materials, Landauer, and the Battery Innovation Center, adjacent to the Naval Center in Crane, Indiana.

Nanomanufacturing preeminent team involves two dozen faculty across ten Schools and four Colleges to combine advances in roll-to-roll systems, functional printing and scalable nanomanufacturing to enable wide spread use of IoT and digital technology.

SMART Industry Consortium

Functional Materials

Faculty: Boudouris, Cakmak, Mei, Wei, Youngblood

Scalable Nanomanufacturing

Faculty: Allebach, Cakmak, Cheng, Chiu, Raman

Devices and Sensors

Faculty: Alam, Janes, Linnes, Peroulis, Shakouri, Stanciu, Wei, Ziaie

Integrated Circuits, Communication, Hybrid Integration

Faculty: Lee, Mohammadi, Peroulis

IoT Applications and Data Analytics

  • Farm-to-fork (agriculture, animal health, food)
    Faculty: Allebach, Brouder, Chaubey, Chiu, Kokini, Mauer, Ribeiro, Stanciu
  • Digital healthcare and smart pharmaceutical
    Faculty: Lee, Linnes, Park, Pinal, Stanciu, Ziaie
  • Smart infrastructure and connected transportation
    Faculty: Mohammadi, Peroulis, Ziaie


We have assembled a unique roll-to-roll (R2R) nanomanufacturing facility at Purdue which enables novel materials and thin film IoT devices to be created with high throughput (feet/minute). The initial focus is on two platforms: flexible/disposable substrates and the nanomanufacturing of composites containing cellulosic nanocrystals. Some of the major tools are roll-to-roll inkjet printer, slot die/microgravure coating; pulsed laser processing and ellipsometry. Prof. Miko Cakmak, who has recently moved from University of Akron to Purdue, is installing a number of unique tools. A new R2R manufacturing line currently being built and will be operational in Summer 2017 in the cleanroom. This 40ft. R2R pilot machine together with auxiliary metrology tools to optimize process conditions (Instrumented drying system) as well as functional properties of end products in realistic conditions (tensile, flex) will provide a comprehensive pipeline for technology development and demonstration of flexible devices within Purdue.

  • Roll-to-roll coating (slot-die, microgravure) (installed in Oct. 2013)
  • Ellipsometry/ high speed inspection (installed in Dec. 2013)
  • Roll-to-roll plasma chemical vapor deposition –custom design (installed in Nov. 2014)
  • Roll-to-roll Inkjet/Laser processing –custom design (installed in June 2015)
  • Instrumented Drying system to simulate R2R process conditions–custom design (installed in October 2016)
  • Instrumented testing system for simulation of functional devices in uniaxial extension and bending while monitoring true stress strain, electrical and optical properties –custom design (installed in October 2016)
  • Instrumented biaxial stretching system for tracking real time optical anisotropy in steady or cyclic deformation modes (installed in January 2017)
  • 40ft long functional film manufacturing line –custom design (to be installed in Summer 2017)


  • Ali Shakouri Ali Shakouri - Director of Birck Nanotechnology Center
    Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
    BRK 1027C
  • Muhammad Ashraful Alam Muhammad Ashraful Alam
    Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
    WANG 3051
  • Jan Allebach Jan Allebach
    Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
    EE 145
  • Saurabh Bagchi Saurabh Bagchi
    Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
    EE 325
  • Bryan Boudouris Bryan Boudouris
    Associate Professor of Chemistry
    FRNY 1051
  • Sylvie Brouder Sylvie M. Brouder
    Professor of Agronomy
    Lilly 3-351
  • Mukerrem (Miko) Cakmak Mukerrem (Miko) Cakmak
    Professor of Materials and Mechanical Engineering
    BRK 1021
  • Indrajeet Chaubey Indrajeet Chaubey
    Professor and Department Head Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences; Professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering
  • Gary Gary Cheng
    Associate Professor
    GRIS 333 & GRIS 375
  • George George Chiu
    Professor of Mechanical Engineering
    ME 3061C, HLAB 1008, ME Room 363 and HERL Room 79
  • David Janes David Janes
    Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
    BRK 2268
  • Jozef Jozef Kokini
    Professor of Food Science
    NLSN 3227
  • Chi Hwan Lee Chi-Hwan Lee
    Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering
    MJIS 2086
  • Jackie Linnes Jackie Linnes
    Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering
    MJIS 3086
  • Jan-Anders Mansson Jan-Anders Mansson
    Distinguished Professor of Materials and Chemical Engineering
    IMI 108
  • Jianguo Mei Jianguo Mei
    Assistant Professor Organic Chemistry
    WTHR 465
  • Saeed Mahammadi Saeed Mahammadi
    Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
    BRK 2264
  • Park Kinam Park
    Professor of Bioengineering/Pharmaceutics
    MJIS 2070 or Biomed 2070
  • Dimitrios Dimitrios Peroulis
    Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Mechanical Engineering
    WANG 3057 or BRK 2266
  • Pinal Rodolfo Pinal - Director of Dane O. Kildsig Center for Pharmaceutical Processing Research
    Professor of Industrial and Physical Pharmacy
    RHPH 124C
  • Raman Arvind Raman - Associate Dean for Global Engineering Programs
    Professor of Mechanical Engineering
    WANG 4535
  • Bruno Ribeiro Bruno Ribeiro
    Assistant Professor of Computer Sciences
    LWSN 2142C
  • Shreyas Sen Shreyas Sen
    Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
    MSEE 226
  • Lia Stanciu Lia Stanciu
    Professor of Materials Engineering
  • Wei Alexander Wei
    Professor of Organic Chemistry
    BRWN 4103D
  • Jeff Jeffrey Youngblood
    Professor of Material Engineering
  • Babak Babak Ziaie
    Professor of Biomedical Engineering
    BRK 2023


PurdueX (edX Courses)

Biomedical Engineering

  • BME 204: Biomechanics of Hard and Soft Tissues
  • BME 305 Bioinstrumentation Circuit and Measurement Principles

Chemical Engineering

  • CHE 44200: Chemistry & Engineering of High Polymers
  • CHE 54400: Structure & Behavior of Polymer Sys
  • CHE 59700: Organic Electronic Materials and Devices
  • CHE 64500: Polymer Rheology


Electrical and Computer Engineering

  • ECE 49500 - Introduction to Thin Film Science and Technology
  • ECE 50616 - Physics and Manufacturing of Solar Cells
  • ECE 52600 - Fundamental of BioMEMS and Micro-Integrated Systems
  • ECE 55700 - Integrated Circuit/MEMS Fabrication Laboratory

  • Industrial Engineering

    Material Engineering

    • MSE 510: Microstructural Characterization Techniques
    • MSE 525: Structure-Property Relationships of Engineering Polymers
    • MSE 530: Materials Processing in Manufacturing
    • MSE 531: Quantitative Analysis of Microstructure
    • MSE 548: Deposition Processing of Thin Films and Coatings
    • MSE 597Y: Polymer Synthesis

    Mechanical Engineering

    • ME 557: Design for Manufacturability


    • Scalable Manufacturing of Aware & Responsive Thin Films (SMART)
    • Prof. Ali Shakouri
    • 1205 W. State St.
    • BRK 1027C (Office)
    • West Lafayette, IN 47907
    Copyright © 2015-2017 - Purdue University College of Engineering - Scalable Manufacturing of Aware & Responsive Thin Films (SMART). All Rights Reserved.