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UMass Announces a $5M Grant for Innovative Optical Lab

Watkins with Grant Award

Within a year, students and researchers in a laboratory at the University of Massachusetts will begin using a nanoimprint lithography tool to craft metal lenses in what will be the first open access facility in the country for the development of advanced optical technology.

The science is being used in technologies ranging from semiconductors to medicine to national defense systems, and from virtual reality to self-driving vehicles.

At the Institute for Applied Life Sciences, where 20 companies, most based in Massachusetts, already work on various research, a $5 million grant announced Friday is providing funding for a full wafer imprint tool to make what James J. Watkins, a professor in the department of Polymer Science and Engineering, says will be “very thin and very functional” metal lenses that, being significantly less expensive, will drive innovation and may reshape machines across the world.

UMass News Office


October 26, 2023