The Nortel Institute for Telecommunications (NIT) was originally established in 1997 with funding from the Nortel Networks Corporation. The institute included 10 open-research labs across the UofT campus.

In 1999, the institute received funding from Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), Ontario Research and Development Challenge Fund (ORDCF) and the Ontario Innovation Trust (OIT), which collectively funded the design and construction of the Prototyping Cleanroom in the Bahen Building. The cleanroom officially opened in May 2003.

The institute was re-named the Emerging Communications Technology Institute (ECTI) in 2005, after the amalgamation of the Nortel Institute and the Micro Fabrication Research Laboratory in the Pratt Building. The institute received funding from the Academic Initiatives Fund (AIF), within the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, to establish the new Institute.

In 2005, CFI funding obtained to construct an Electron Beam Nanolithography Facility in the basement of the Wallberg Building, as well as purchase a state-of-the-art Electron Beam Lithography tool. The Wallberg Electron Bean Nanolithography Facility was officially available to academic and industrial users in September 2009.

The institute was re-branded as the Toronto Nanofabrication Centre (TNFC) in April 2013.

Faculty Directors

The Centre is led by a Faculty Director within the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering. Current and past directors include:

Prof. Wai Tung Ng (ECE) 2016 – Present

Prof. Harry Ruda (MSE) 2015 – 2016

Prof. Wai Tung Ng (ECE) 2014 – 2015

Prof. Yu Sun (MIE) 2012 – 2013

Prof. Stewart Aitchison (ECE) 2010 – 2011

Prof. Mohammed Mojahedi (ECE) 2008 – 2009

Prof. Stewart Aitchison (ECE) 2004 – 2007

Prof. Peter Smith (ECE) 2000 – 2003

Prof. Jimmy Xu (ECE) 1997 – 1999