Lab for Education & Application Prototypes

optical testing

Optical testing of an AIM Photonics 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.  Stonehill College and Bridgewater State University received $3.8 million in funding to build new LEAPS in October, 2019.

MIT, WPI/QCC, and Stonehill/BSU's LEAPs are the first of a network of LEAPs across Massachusetts. This I-90 corridor partnership is a broad coalition that includes AIM 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' M2I2 program 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.


Please watch the below video for  introduction to the capabilities of the LEAP.


Read how MIT students are using the LEAP for solar cell testing and packaging.


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

You can find additional details about the equipment below.

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