The University of Alberta offers several nano-related undergraduate and graduate programs. It is also home to NINT, NanoFab, and MicroSystems Technology Research Initiative. With thirteen research chairs in nanotechnology research, the University of Alberta is a strong centre for nanotechnology.
The University of Alberta´s Micromachining and Nanofabrication Facility (NanoFab) has a wide range of state-of-the-art equipment and instrumentation for making micro- and nano-devices. Part of the Faculty of Engineering, its mission is to provide the equipment, infrastructure and expertise necessary for the user community to achieve their research goals.
The MicroSystems Technology Research Initiative (MSTRI) was established in the fall of 2000. Located on the University of Alberta campus within the Faculty of Engineering, MSTRI´s premier activity is to identify and fund early stage microsystems and nanotechnology device prototypes originating from academic and industry sectors, where the anticipated outcomes demonstrate a potential for accelerating the commercialization of the underlying concept or invention.
MSTRI has received funding in support of its programs and operations from the Alberta Innovation Program and Alberta, Innovation and Science with a matching commitment from Western Economic Diversification Canada. It had a budget of $2.2 million for the allocation term from April 2006 to March 2009.
Telecommunications Research Laboratories (TRLabs) creates innovative technologies and trains students to enhance ICT expertise and improve Canada's global competitiveness.
TRLabs has the goal to develop a beamline at the Canadian Light Source (CLS) dedicated to advanced lithography techniques for Microelectronics and Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS). The Canadian Light Source Synchrotron, Canada´s first dedicated synchrotron radiation facility, began operation in fall 2004. Synchrotron lithography, and particularly X-ray lithography (XRL), is attractive for micro/nano systems and MEMS, and offers capabilities for building extremely precise, high aspect ratio structures not currently available in Canada. For more information on the CLS, see below (Saskatchewan – Canadian Light Source).
Alberta Research Council (ARC) is an applied research and development (R&D) corporation that develops and commercializes technology to grow innovative enterprises. It specializes in converting early stage ideas into marketable technology products and services. ARC was established in 1921 by a provincial government Order-in-Council.
ARC has reorganized to better position itself for change and growth. Sharpening its R&D focus on energy and life sciences, and reinforcing its capacity in emerging technologies that support its work such as ICT, nanotechnology, environment, advanced materials and genomics.
ARC´s historic achievements include developing the technology for separating oil from oil sands - the keystone of Alberta's multi-billion-dollar oil sands industry - and the landmark inventory of Alberta's resources compiled by the Alberta Geological Survey.
The National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT) is an integrated, multi-disciplinary institution involving researchers in physics, chemistry, biochemistry, engineering, biology, informatics, pharmacy and medicine. Established in 2001, it is operated as a partnership between the National Research Council and the University of Alberta, and is jointly funded by the Government of Canada, the Government of Alberta and the University of Alberta.
The focus of NINT's research program is integration – the combination of separate nano-scale devices and materials into complex nanosystems that are connected to the outside world. NINT explores the integration, at the molecular level, of nature's most powerful nano-devices such as proteins, lipids, and other biological structures made from 'soft' organic material, with crystalline semiconductors, metals, and catalysts made from inorganic 'hard' materials.
Since its establishment in 1962, NAIT has built a reputation for providing outstanding applied education with a human touch. A number of unique programs and strong industry ties make NAIT stand out:
Their Nanotechnology Systems program - the first such diploma in Canada - provides a strong foundation of electronics, material science, instrumentation, chemistry and biochemistry, supported by courses in ethics and communications.
Established in 1908, the University of British Columbia (UBC) educates a student population of 50,000 on major campuses in two cities and holds an international reputation for excellence in advanced research and learning.
The University of British Columbia offers an undergraduate Electrical Engineering program with a Nanotechnology and Microsystems option. It also offers a graduate Electrical Engineering program related to nanotechnology. UBC is home to AMPEL Nanofabrication Facility (ANF), Microsystems and Nanotechnology Research Group (MiNa), and nine nanotechnology research chairs.
The Advanced Materials and Process Engineering Laboratory (AMPEL) is part of the University of British Columbia. AMPEL is a multi-disciplinary research centre with participation of research groups from the faculties of Applied Science, Science and Dentistry and strong collaborations with the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Forestry.
The AMPEL Nanofabrication Facility (ANF) is the center for device fabrication at UBC for multidisciplinary applications including microfabrication of microfluidics devices (for proteomics, DNA sequencing, lab-on-chip, cell cultures), photonics (photonic crystals, lasers, modulators), and nano-electronics (carbon nanotube devices, graphene electronics).
The facility is used by research groups from the faculties of Applied Science, Science and Dentistry, as well as off-campus academic and industrial users.
The Microsystems and Nanotechnology Research Group (MiNa) is part of the University of British Columbia. MiNa is engaged in many areas of microsystems and nanotechnology, with a particular focus on devices, systems, experimentation, and fabrication. Applications of MiNa research span over many areas, including biomedical devices, nano-computing, nano-devices, communication, energy, sensors, and actuators. Overall, it works on aspects including modeling, design, technology development, fabrication, characterisation, and experimentation.
Simon Fraser University (SFU) was established in 1965. SFU has approximately 32,000 students, more than 900 faculty and more than 100,000 alumni who are pushing the boundaries of knowledge. Spanning many disciplines in eight faculties, SFU offers more than 100 undergraduate major and joint major programs and more than 45 graduate offerings. Among these graduate offerings are its Interactive Arts and Technology, which offers a nanotechnology course, and Molecular Biology and Biochemistry (areas of research include nanotechnology). SFU is home to three nanotechnology research chairs.
The TRLabs Winnipeg laboratory opened in 1994 and is affiliated with the University of Manitoba. Research is focused on Data Networking and Health, with contribution to Home Tech and Wireless. The University of Manitoba has two nanotechnology research chairs. Also, the Red River College of Applied Arts, Science, and Technology in Winnipeg offers a nanotechnology course for its Personal/Professional Development program.
Carleton University situated in Ottawa, Ontario offers several programs that can lead to a career in nanotechnology. They are: Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering, Chemistry, Engineering Physics and Nanoscience.
The University of Waterloo (UW)´s undergraduate Nanotechnology Engineering degree program – unique in North America – is offered collaboratively by the Department of Chemical Engineering and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering, and the Chemistry Department in the Faculty of Science. First offered in 2005, this ground-breaking program builds the knowledge and skills that a fast-growing nanotechnology industry has begun to and will continue to demand of graduate engineers. Nanotechnology engineers will be at the forefront of research and development related to a cluster of technologies harnessing the unique properties and functions of nanoscale systems. The university also has seven nanotechnology research chairs and is home to the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology (WIN).
The Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology (WIN) is comprised of 45 faculty members from 8 departments who perform research in nano-materials, nano-electronics, nano-instrumentation and nano-biosystems.
The Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology will make its home alongside the Institute for Quantum Computing in the new Mike and Ophelia Quantum Nano Centre (QNC).
Established in 1827, the University of Toronto (U of T) is Canada's largest university, recognized as a global leader in research and teaching. U of T's distinguished faculties, scholarships, and academic opportunities continually attract outstanding students and academics from around the world.
U of T offers an Engineering Science program with the option to specialize in nanoengineering in students´ third and fourth year. Starting in the 2002/03 academic year, this is the first program in the world to offer an undergraduate nanotechnology option. U of T is home to the Centre for Advanced Nanotechnology as well as eight nanotechnology research chairs.
The Centre for Advanced Nanotechnology (CAN) is Canada's first centre for nanotechnology research, formed in September 1997 under the name Energenius Centre for Advanced Nanotechnology as a result of a generous donation from Energenius Inc., a Canadian company dedicated to advancing nanotechnology research. Energenius entered into a strong partnership with CAN in promoting the commercialization and spin-off of nanotechnology advances to CAN and to the global market. A team of world-leading research scientists and state-of-the-art tools place CAN at the forefront for developing the key enabling technologies for nanoelectronic and nanophotonic applications.
The University of Guelph, established in 1964, is ranked as one of Canada's top comprehensive universities because of its commitment to student learning and innovative research. It is dedicated to cultivating the essentials for quality of life - water, food, environment, health, community, commerce, culture, and learning. The University of Guelph has approximately 15 500 undergraduate and 2300 graduate students.
In 2008, the University of Guelph established an undergraduate program devoted entirely to nanoscale science. This Nanoscience program covers fundamental science courses as well as specially designed courses in nanoscience that would previously only be found in graduate programs. The University also has two nanotechnology research chairs.
The University of Western Ontario (UWO) was established in 1878 and has two programs with nanotechnology options: Chemical Engineering and Biochemical Engineering. Students may specialize in nanotechnology in their fourth year. It also has a graduate program, Physical and Analytical Chemistry, with areas of research including nanotechnology. UWO has four research chairs working in nanotechnology.
McMaster University was established in 1887. McMaster offers an undergraduate Engineering Physics program with a Nano- and Micro-Devices option for third year students. This program provides an opportunity for students with an aptitude for the physical sciences and mathematics to fully develop their capabilities and apply them to engineering problems. In addition to this, McMaster offers graduate work in nanotechnology and is home to five nanotechnology research chairs.
Founded in 1873, École Polytechnique de Montréal is one of Canada´s leading engineering institutions in terms of both teaching and research. It is the largest engineering school in Québec as far as its student population and the scope of its research activities are concerned. École Polytechnique provides instruction in 11 engineering specialties and is responsible for more than one-quarter of university engineering research in Quebec. Polytechnique Montréal is affiliated with Université de Montréal and has four nanotechnology research chairs.
Polytechnique Montréal´s undergraduate Engineering Physics program has a Micro and Nanotechnology concentration. It also offers a graduate level Engineering Physics program with research areas including nanotechnology.
Established in Québec in 1980, the Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST) is a scientific research organization known for the quality of its work and the expertise of its personnel.
The IRSST has been active in the field of nanotechnology. They have published reports on risk management and prevention related to nanomaterials as well as a mapping of nanotechnology-related activities in Quebec which accurately documents the sectors, companies and researchers working with nanoparticles; the types and quantities of products containing NP; and conditions affecting OHS (Occupational Health and Safety) and risk prevention.
Founded in 1954, the Université de Sherbrooke is a French-speaking institution that offers the opportunity to benefit from an academic education that is recognized and valued around the world. The Université de Sherbrooke is host to more than 36,000 students, of which 17,000 are studying on a full-time basis. Currently, more than 1600 foreign students from over ninety countries worldwide attend the Université de Sherbrooke. The Université has 6900 employees altogether, including 2300 professors and lecturers, and three nanotechnology research chairs.
The Departments of Chemistry and Physics offer a graduate level program in nanomaterials and has three nanotechnology research chairs..
Founded in 1821, McGill attracts renowned professors and researchers from around the world and top students from more than 150 countries, creating one of the most dynamic and diverse education environments in North America.
Researchers across several disciplines - including physics, chemistry, life sciences, chemical engineering, and mining, metals and materials engineering - joined to create the McGill Institute for Advanced Materials (MIAM). Nanotechnology provides an important way to enhance materials, and is thus expected to assume an important part of MIAM's mandate. MIAM is also associated with CLUMEQ´s computational research in Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology (see below). McGill is home to ten nanotechnology research chairs.
Compute Canada, a nationwide network of High Performance Computing installations, encompasses seven regional consortia across the country. One of these, CLUMEQ (Consortium Laval, Université du Québec, McGill and Eastern Quebec), is based in Quebec with supercomputing platforms at two sites: Montreal and Quebec.
CLUMEQ is conducting research in many cutting edge areas including:
CLUMEQ´s nanotechnology research is mostly centered at the McGill Institute for Advanced Materials (MIAM).
Université Laval´s Department of Physics houses its Laboratory of Atomic and Molecular Physics which researches many topics including plasma treatment of nanostructures and biophysical studies of molecular motors combined with innovative imaging and detection of nanoparticles. Laval is also home to one nanotechnology research chair.
Université du Québec was created by the Québec government in 1968 and has become Canada´s largest university network. Its mission is to foster access to university education and contribute to Québec´s scientific development as well as the development of its regions.
Founded in 1974, the École de Technologie Supérieure (ETS) is a constituent network of the University of Quebec. Specializing in application engineering and technology, it focuses on cooperative education, the development of new technologies, and their transfer to business. Since its founding, the ETS has established a unique partnership with business and industry and has had close ties with both large companies and SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises). Experts in their fields of engineering, most teachers have had work experience in industry. ETS has the only baccalaureate programs in Quebec designed specifically for college graduates wishing to pursue a technical career in engineering.
ETS conducts a great deal of research on traditional, established technologies. It is now adding to this, by researching emerging technologies such as nanotechnology. More specifically, ETS is conducting R&D on the integration of microsystems and nanosystems in ICT as well as on nanostructured materials.
The Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS) was established in 1969. One of its institutes is INRS Energie, Materiaux et Telecommunications or INRS-EMT. The prime objectives of INRS-EMT are to develop research programs, encourage scientific innovation, and provide high quality education at graduate levels (M.Sc. and Ph.D.). INRS-EMT promotes higher education in sectors strategic to Quebec´s economy, namely in the areas of advanced materials, nanoscience and nanotechnologies, photonics, telecommunications and energy.
The University of Saskatchewan offers a graduate program in biochemistry with a wide variety of research areas including nanotechnology. It is also home to the Canadian Light Source (CLS) and three nanotechnology research chairs. See the section on CLS below.
The Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation has announced funding for a Bone and joint Imaging Group (BIG) – a formalized, interdisciplinary Bone Research Group at the University of Saskatchewan. One of the focuses of this group is nano and micro imaging of bone structure. Another group belonging to U of S is the Nanoscale and Surface Physics Research Group. Its research is aimed at studying the self-assembly and electronic properties of nanoscale structures.
The Canadian Light Source (CLS) was established in 1999 and is located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The X-ray lithography beamline, officially known as the Canadian Synchrotron Nanostructures Facility (CSNF), is essentially a “machine shop” to create structures with nanoscale features.
Through the power of the synchrotron´s brilliant light (millions of times brighter than sunlight), the nanostructures beamline will be used as a step in the manufacture of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and nanostructures. The synchrotron can provide very detailed images of molecular structure as well as a detailed chemical analysis. This research has applications in many areas including micro- and nanotechnology, medical imaging, and cancer therapies. It also has potential for the creation of extremely small and highly powerful communications devices, including new optics and wireless systems.