Nanoelectronics is the emerging area of electronics dealing with nanometer-sized devices used for electronic circuits and systems. Nanoelectronics is probably the most advanced of the nanotechnologies and products are starting to appear in the market utilizing nanoelectronic devices. Many countries in the world are embarking on ambitious programs in nanoelectronics to address the needs of tomorrow's technology. There are broadly two approaches to fabricating nanoelectronic devices and systems. One is the "shrink-down" approach where the devices are scaled from the current fractions of microns to the nanometer size, by using advanced lithography, etch and deposition techniques; the other is the "atoms-up" approach where supra-molecular assemblies are built up with chemical, biochemical and physical synthesis tools. The first approach requires externally imprinting several layers of patterns on a substrate, the second aims ultimately for self-assembly of structures.

The Centre for Nanoelectronics at IIT Bombay is part of a joint project between the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IITB) and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore funded by the Ministry of Communications & Information Technology (MCIT), Govt. of India. These two centres are setup to undertake state-of-the-art research in nanoelectronics, train manpower in this emerging area, interact with industry, research laboratories and government departments and create facilities which will be used by nanoelectronics researchers all over the country. Though both the centres have many areas in common, by and large the focus for the team at IITB is more on the devices and circuits aspects while the team at IISc focuses more on the materials aspects of nanoelectronics. This is consistent with the expertise available at the two places, and the broad thrust of the two Institutes.

The facilities created through this project at the two centres are available to researchers, scientists, engineers and users from other organizations, including academia, industry and government through the auxiliary "Indian Nanoelectronics Users Program" (INUP). The centres strongly encourage external users to utilize the facilities.

This project also represents the first collaborative effort between two leading academic Institutes in the country to carry out a joint program in an important emerging area. IITB and IISc enjoy a close and symbiotic relationship. The two cities are located reasonably close to each other, and are well-connected. One is a financial centre with a long history of cutting-edge R&D in many areas of science and engineering while the other is regarded as a silicon valley of India. The two Institutes have a Memorandum of Understanding for collaborative research.