1966 Henry I. Smith receives Ph.D. in physics from Boston College.

1968-80 Smith pioneers submicron structures technology at MIT Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington, Massachusetts.

1971 Claude R. Canizares receives Ph.D. in Physics from Harvard University and starts work at MIT as a postdoc working for Prof. George W. Clark (Physics).

1974 Canizares joins MIT faculty as Professor of Physics.

1974-1978 Schattenburg attends the University of Hawaii, working in the Soft X-ray and Electron Spectroscopy Laboratory of Prof. Burton L. Henke (Physics).

1977 Smith is appointed Professor of Electrical Engineering at MIT and founds the Submicron Structures Laboratory (SSL) in MIT Building 13.

1978 Schattenburg begins work at MIT as graduate student at the Center for Space Research (CSR), working for Canizares on the Einstein Observatory x-ray telescope.

1981 Canizares and Smith initiate collaboration and Schattenburg begins work on nanofabricated x-ray transmission grating technology.

1984 Canizares writes proposal to NASA and MIT wins contract for the Chandra High Energy Transmission Grating Spectrometer (HETGS).

1984 Schattenburg receives Ph.D. in Physics.

1985 The Microsystems Technology Laboratories (MTL) is constructed in Building 39 and SSL moves into new cleanroom space. The SSL is later re-named the NanoStructures Laboratory (NSL).

1989-90 MIT selects x-ray lithography as preferred method to fabricate gratings for Chandra.

1992/May MIT orders x-ray lithography system from Hampshire Instruments, Inc., for $3.1M.

1993/May Hampshire declares bankruptcy. MIT loses $2.0M.

1993/Jun MIT proposes interference lithography process to fabricate gratings. NASA approves process and funds for new laboratory.

1993/Jul With NASA and MIT funds, the CSR plans and begins construction of the Space Nanotechnology Laboratory (SNL) in Building 37. Canizares, Smith, and Prof. Rafael Reif (Electrical Engineering), who was then director of the MTL, provide significant institutional support. Mr. Robert Fleming heads the design and construction effort of the new lab.

1994/Jun Construction of SNL completed.

1994/Oct Installation and test of equipment in SNL completed.

1995/Feb Chandra HETGS Critical Design Review passed.

1995-1996 HETG flight gratings fabricated.

1995 SOHO is launched with SNL-fabricated transmission grating on board

1995 Research on reflection gratings for Constellation X mission initiated.

1996/Sep HETGS delivered to NASA.

1997 Research to develop Nanoruler tool is initiated with NASA support.

1998 Five-year grant from DARPA secured to develop Nanoruler into nanometrology tool.

1999 Chandra launched with a large number of SNL-fabricated gratings.

1997-2000 SNL fabricated gratings for the IMAGE, GOES and TWINS missions.

2000 IMAGE is launched with SNL-fabricated transmission grating nano-filters on board.

2001 Research on variable-period Nanoruler is initiated.

2003 Nanoruler tool completed and tested. Drs. Konkola and Chen complete Ph.D.

2005 Heilmann and Schattenburg develop CAT grating design.

2006 Ahn demonstrates feasibility of CAT grating fabrication.

2007 First successful x-ray tests of CAT grating prototypes.

2010 Long-time lab manager Robert Fleming retires.

Launch Dates of NASA Missions with SNL-Fabricated Hardware.

SOHO December 2, 1995
Chandra July 23, 1999
IMAGE March 25, 2000
GOES series GOES N, 12/2004; GOES O, 4/2007; GOES P, 10/2008; GOES R, 4/2012
TWINS series TWINS A, 5/2004; TWINS B, 5/2006
SDO, February 11, 2010

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