The Microelectronics and MEMS laboratory of the Electrical Engineering Department has a strong base in silicon and GaAs based devices. Since 1996 research and development in MEMS is being carried out in close collaboration with Departments of Biotechnology and Mechanical Engineering. MEMS has been one of the successful Interdisciplinary Research Programmes (IDRP) run by IIT Madras. The Photonics group has been active since 2001 and closely interacts with the Microelectronics and MEMS laboratory in developing a variety of photonic devices.

The Centre for Nanoelectromechanical Systems and Nanophotonics (CNNP) is sponsored by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology , Government of India. The main objective of the project is to set up a Centre to carry out application-oriented research for the development of NanoElectroMechanical Systems (NEMS) and Nanophotonics.

The Aim and Scope of the Centre for NEMS and Nanophotonics will involve:

(i) Setting up of nanofabrication facilities at IITM

(ii) Developing nanofabrication processes for the materials: silicon, GaAs and other III-V compounds, Silicon nitride, Silicon oxide, polysilicon and silicon on insulator (SOI)

(iii) Material diagnostics in nm scale

(iv) Design and modeling of devices

(v)Process optimization for specific nanostructures like nanocantilevers, nanopores, nanoporous membranes, nanowires

(vi) Setting up measurements for accurate testing, characterization and reliability

(vii) Technology transfer and incubation of companies based on products developed Specific devices include nanoresonators with applications in RF and Biosensors; nanoporous membranes in silicon nitride and oxide for biomolecule counting; silicon photonic wire waveguide and applications of the nanophotonic waveguide in multi-channel add-drop multiplexer, micro-ring resonators and the Mach-Zehnder interferometer; Fourier Transform Spectrometer (FTS) on SOI platform. The GaAs devices will include Fabry Perot Filters and waveguide switches and Photonic crystal microcavities with high-Q. NFUN, a specific non- destructive system for characterization of nanostructures will be developed.