WINLAB is an industry-university research center whose mission is to advance the development of wireless networking technology by combining resources from government, industry, and academia. The center has made a number of important technical contributions to mobile computing, high speed modem design, radio resource management, and network architectures and protocols. WINLAB has been supported by a broad cross section of leading wireless industry sponsors and has received grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and the New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology (NJCST).
Since 2003, WINLAB has been home to the “ORBIT” Next-Generation Wireless Testbed sponsored by NSF's Network Research Testbeds (NRT) program, serving as a hub for experimental wireless networking research. In 2010, a WINLAB-led team was awarded a $7.6M Future Internet Architecture (FIA) grant from NSF to design, prototype, and validate a comprehensive mobility-centric future Internet architecture called “MobilityFirst.”
WINLAB faculty have also been awarded numerous research grants from NSF, DARPA, ARL (Army Research Laboratory), NRL (Naval Research Lab) and other agencies on topics ranging from energy efficient radio system and dynamic spectrum access to mobile content delivery and information security/privacy.
WINLAB has the capability of fabricating prototype devices and printed circuits with K&S wedge bonder, SMT rework equipment as well as various FPGA development platforms and programmable embedded platforms (APTIX, GNU radio USRP, etc.). The laboratories are also equipped with various network analyzers, RF spectrum analyzers, high-speed digitizing oscilloscopes, function generators, power meters and other general purpose laboratory equipment (shielded enclosures, antennas, etc.).
MERL is a 3,800 sq. ft. clean room facility with areas for lithography (photo and nano), wet chemistry, dry process (deposition and etch), thermal process (growth and diffusion), metrology, and backend process. It supports multidisciplinary research within the ECE Department, the Rutgers community, and government and industry.
Current on-going research projects include wide band gap semiconductor materials, such as silicon carbide (SiC) and zinc oxide (ZnO) and their novel devices, silicon photonics, multifunctional sensors, materials and devices for green energy, nanoelectronics and nanophotonics, and bioelectronics, among others. MERL also facilitates undergraduate and graduate education, including lab courses, capstone designs, thesis research and special projects.
Hosting many state-of-the-art research projects such as understanding slow light loss in photonic crystal waveguides and nanofabrication of germanium nanowires, MERL is instrumental in enabling Rutgers to be one of the global leaders in SiC and ZnO device research. SiC is a "wide band gap" semiconductor that extends electronics to high voltage and high temperature beyond silicon’s capability, for defense, energy, and automobile applications. ZnO is also a “wide band gap” semiconductor, but the innovative MOCVD selective growth technique developed in MERL allows multifunctional material processing and nanostructure integration with unique electrical, optical, piezoelectric, and mechanical properties. The newest MERL acquisition, an atomic layer deposition (ALD) system, will allow innovative material engineering and novel device fabrication.