Photo Panorama: Zyvex Labs’ Research Lab
Zyvex Corporation was founded in 1997 to develop and commercialize Atomically Precise Manufacturing technology — ultimately building products with atomic precision. When developed, Atomically Precise Manufacturing should allow flexible manufacturing of a wide variety of products — ranging from designer materials to supercomputers to advanced medical devices.
Founder Jim Von Ehr previously was CEO and founder of a very successful software company which pioneered applications in desktop publishing until the company was bought in 1995. Von Ehr’s background as a software entrepreneur led him to the realization that Atomically Precise Manufacturing — creating “digital matter” — could become a huge new opportunity to manufacture products better, faster, and cheaper than any previous technology.
Zyvex Corporation in its early years did fundamental research into APM, often building its own tools along the way. In recent years, Zyvex took that technology to market by developing commercial products in the nanomaterials and nanomanipulation areas. In April 2007, Zyvex Corporation reorganized itself into three independent companies: Zyvex Performance Materials LLC, Zyvex Instruments LLC, and Zyvex Labs LLC, by distributing its assets among those companies, and hiring dedicated management for the Materials and Instruments businesses.
Zyvex Labs has two goals: develop Atomically Precise Manufacturing, and exploit our technology for microfabrication and 3D microassembly. Developed during Zyvex’s 5-year, $25M NIST ATP project to build 3D assembled microsystems, our MEMS technology is currently being used to fabricate miniature scientific instrumentation such as a mini Scanning Electron Microscope and a mini Atomic Force Microscope, as well as next-generation nanoprobing systems. These systems will be developed for larger marketing partners or spun off into standalone companies, depending on the product. Zyvex Labs is also a founding partner in Nano-Retina, which is building an advanced prosthetic vision device.
Zyvex Labs funding comes from government R&D contracts, private investment, and contract research.
In 2000, Zyvex Corporation received a significant research award from the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Advanced Technology Program (NIST ATP). Titled Assemblers for Nanotechnology Applications and Manufacturing: Enabling the Nanotechnology Era, with program ID 70NANB1H3021, this five year, cost-shared joint program with Honeywell and several universities supported the work shown below. We thank the NIST ATP for making this work possible.
In 2003 and 2004, Zyvex Corporation also received SBIR awards from DARPA to develop the mini-SEM shown here. Titled Miniaturized Scanning Electron Microscope (program ID DAAH01-03-C-R217) and Manufacturing Assembly Technology for Producing Low-cost Mini SEMs (program ID W31P4Q-04-C-R289), these programs supported our development of the electron optics portion of the work shown here.
In 2004, Zyvex Corporation received an SBIR from the Department of Energy titled MEMS Nanoprobe for Transmission Electron Microscope, program ID DE-FG 0204ER84130 which worked on the development of a MEMS-based nanomanipulator for TEMs. Results from this program are not shown here, but indirectly led to improvements in our MEMS fine positioning stages.
Our work can be categorized into four areas; each area has a page devoted to it:
Micro Assembly: Building a variety of mechanical MEMS structures via 3D assembly.
Electron Optics: Focusing and deflecting electron beams using assembled MEMS lens elements.
Ion Optics: Focusing and deflecting ion beams, typically for mass spectrometer applications.
Photon Optics: MEMS-based spectrometers and MEMS-based fiber alignment.