Engineering Consultants
Ithaca, New York

Specializing in nanofabrication and optomechanical Design

Engineering Design

Illuminaria personnel will provide quality engineering designs for your individual requirements.  Below are a list of projects of which we have worked upon. Please email for more information.

nano-American flag/nano-White House

The nano-American flag and the nano-White House were created by scientists and engineers at Cornell University to celebrate the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act.  It is probably the only nano-trinket to be presented to two Presidents of the United States.  It was a gift to President George W. Bush on March 30, 2004 and to former President William Jefferson Clinton on May 29, 2004.


The nano-American Flag

The nano-American flag was created using nanotechnology.  It is 3 millimeters (about one-tenth of an inch) wide by 1.5 millimeters tall.  The tools and processes used to create the nano-American flag are similar to those used to create computer chips and other nanoscale devices.  The colors in the American flag are produced by a distinct pattern of lines etched into a thin layer of glass coating a silicon wafer.  These tiny lines spaced at nanometer dimensions diffract specific wavelengths of light producing the red, white and blue colors.  Diffraction gratings, such as the ones used here, have applications in telecommunications, biomedicine and analytical chemistry.  Objects at the nanoscale are devoid of color since their dimensions are smaller than the wavelength of light.  In this American flag, the stars (really squares) are 75 micrometers across, about one-half the width of a human hair.  Each star is made of 36 separate lines spaced to reflect, blue, green and red light.  Combine these colors and we see the white stars.  Each stripe on the flag is made up of 52 separate lines.  The difference in spacing for the blue and green lines is 72 nanometers and from green to red is 45 nanometers.

The nano-White House

The nano-White House was produced using state-of-the art silicon processing technology that is housed in the Cornell NanoScale Science and Technology Facility which is supported by the National Science Foundation.  There is one "large" White House that is 4.5 millimeters across and four smaller White Houses, each at 510 micrometers across, flank the larger White House.  Atop each nano-White House is an American flag that measures 19x10 micrometers.  The smallest features are the stars for the above flag and lines that make up the smaller White Houses which are approximately 500 nanometers wide.  To put this into perspective, four nano-White House stars or lines would fit across the width of a red blood cell.  Inside the omputer chips of today are wires are now routinely thinner than the thinnest column in the nano-White House.  In fact you could line-up five computer wires across the width of the White House column.

nanoDETECT Platform

Illuminaria research has resulted in the nanoDETECT platform, a fully integrated PCR-based detection system that automates sample handling, DNA purification and real-time PCR amplification in a microchip format.  Illuminaria and its collaborators at Cornell University have used the nanoDETECT platform to detect L. monocytogenes, S. typhimuruim and B. anthracis cell with an average time from sample to result of approximately one hour.

SU8 Mold Fabrication

One product which we offer is a method to create molds for use with PDMS using tandard soft lithographic techniques.  The molds are made at the Cornell Nanoscale Facility using multi-layer SU8 processing.  They are made with 100mm silicon wafers with SU-8 photopolymer spun on the surface and patterned with UV radiation.   PDMS is then poured on the completed SU-8 mold and cured.  With this method, patterns from 20 to 1000 μm in height are available. 

Photolithography Mask Design

Using L-edit we can design custom photolithography masks for use with 1X, 5X and 10X patterning systems.  Free estimates are available.

Mechanical Engineering Design

Illuminaria personnel have over 10 years of experience in the design and machining of optomechanical designs.  Include robotic system, optomechanical systems (shown here), control circuit designs, C and Labview programming.  Feel free to contact us with your design requirements.