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The Nanofabrication Facility
The Nanofabrication Facility

Press Release - 12 November 2007

Bath nanotechnology facility is made available to other UK universities

Scientists and engineers from UK universities will be allowed free use of the University of Bath nanotechnology facilities to help their research.

The David Bullett Nanofabrication Facility will be set aside for an average of one day a week to allow researchers from other universities to use the electron beam lithography facility.

The scheme, which began earlier this month, has been funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, which has paid for 20 per cent of the facility’s time for up to four years and will pay researchers’ travel expenses.

Nanotechnology involves manipulating matter at the scale of a nanometre, which is one millionth of a millimetre. Electron beam lithography is a specialized technique for creating the extremely fine patterns required, for example, by the electronics industry for integrated circuits.

Applications for e-beam lithography cover a wide range of new nanoscale electronic and mechanical structures such as transistors based on single organic molecules, photonic devices and solar cells.

There is also interest in using these techniques in research at the interface between the physical sciences and the biological or life sciences, and Bath is particularly encouraging approaches in these areas.

The service being offer is centred on an advanced electron-beam lithography system (Hitachi S-4300 Scanning electron Microscope & Raith ElphyPlus Professional Lithography Attachment). Supporting processes, including thin film deposition and wet and dry etching, will also be made available. Expert assistance will be provided by the University.

“The fact that the main funder of physics and engineering in this country has singled out our facility for this scheme is a sign of its importance” said Professor Simon Bending, whose research is carried out in the laboratory. “It is an excellent idea to throw open our free capacity to researchers based outside of Bath.”

For more information on how researchers can apply to use the facility, see the link in Related Links.

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