Lab for Education & Application Prototypes

optical testing

Optical testing of an AIM Photonic Interposer Chip designed by the RIT Integrated Photonics Group

AIM Academy launched its premiere Lab for Education & Application Prototypes (LEAP) on MIT's campus in the spring of 2017.  On January 11th, 2018 Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Quinsigamond Community College announced they would receive $4 million dollars for a second LEAP facility on WPI's campus.

MIT and WPI/QCC's LEAPs are the first of many that will be set up along the I-90 corridor, from Boston to Rochester, NY. This I-90 corridor partnership is a broad coalition that includes AIM Photonics Academy, MassTech Collaborative, several community colleges and universities, the Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program (MASS MEP), industry, Massachusetts state legislators and governor Charlie Baker’s office.


The LEAPS are funded by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to support AIM Photonics.  They will enable (1)  the fabrication of prototypes and initial proof of manufacturing and (2) the creation of new high-tech integrated photonics manufacturing jobs.


Larger-scale manufacturing will take place in AIM Photonics' fabrication facility located at SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Albany and its Test and Packaging (TAP) facility at the University of Rochester.


The MIT LEAP facility includes equipment for students and industry to build prototypes in the realm of packaging of photonic components.

The equipment in MIT’s LEAP includes:

  • Optical electronic measuring system
  • Die place-and-attach bonder
  • Automatic organic dispenser
  • Gold (wire) ball bonder
  • Vacuum oven (for reflow)
  • Plasma cleaner
  • X-ray and CT
  • Optical microscopes with cameras
  • Network analyzer
  • CVD parylene coater

To learn more about MIT’s LEAP, AIM Academy’s LEAP network, or applying to become a Massachusetts LEAP site, please contact Anu Agarwal.