Modern silicon fabs routinely produce functional electrical components for a few dollars at part counts exceeding billions per year and a complexity rivaling the human genome. The productivity of these fabs is ensured by design rules that govern the structures that constitute these systems. These design rules govern the range of sizes and separations between various materials - from silicon to metals and dielectrics. However, the essential design rules do not dictate function. For example, MEMs structures have been realized in silicon without modification of the design rules (so called zero-change). Here, we show that the manufacturing infrastructure and design rules support a host of functions and applications beyond electronics - to include nanoscale photonics, ionics, and fluidics. We utilize open foundries (such as MOSIS) that support many users sharing the cost of fabrication. Our nanoscale photonics, ionics, and fluidics are realized next to the electronic circuits designed by small and large companies, students from around the world, and people who just like to tinker. They are the machine shops of the nano-era.
Rajeev J. Ram has worked in the areas of physical optics and electronics for much of his career. In the early 1990's, he developed the III-V wafer bonding technology that led to record brightness light emitting devices at Hewlett-Packard Laboratory (Lumileds) in Palo Alto. While at HP Labs, he worked on the first commercial deployment of vertical cavity surface emitting lasers. He developed semiconductor lasers without population inversion, semiconductor lasers that employ condensation of massive particles (polariton lasers), and threshold-less lasers. Since 1997, Ram has been on the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a member of the Research Laboratory of Electronics and the Microsystems Technology Laboratory. He has served on the Defense Sciences Research Council advising DARPA on new areas for investment and served as a Program Director at the newly founded Advanced Research Project Agency-Energy. His group at MIT has developed energy-efficient photonics for microprocessor systems, microfluidic systems for the control of cellular metabolism, and record-efficiency light sources. He co-founded AyarLabs which provides optical I/O for integrated electronics and ERBI Biosystems which develops microbioreactors for automated cell culture. He is a MacVicar Faculty Fellow, a Bose Research Fellow at MIT, and a Fellow of the Optical Society of America and IEEE Fellow.