Saturday, 26 September 2020 Sydney

New Nanoscience Hub at Sydney University::

The Australian Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology at Sydney University will open a new Nanoscience Hub*on April 20.

The new Hub brings together expertise in physics, chemistry, engineering and medical sciences in a purpose-built facility to devise, fabricate, test and deploy new nanoscale science and technology.

The Australian Government has provided A$40 million in funding.

Most advanced

‘The facilities we've designed and built in the Sydney Nanoscience Hub over the past five years are truly among the most advanced in the world,’ said Associate Professor Mike Biercuk, head of Quantum Simulation at the facility.

The lab Dr Biercuk has built cost more than A$10 million before any equipment was installed. Operating under the most exacting environmental controls, the room is one of only five in the world: three are in the United States – two run by the US Government and a third at Harvard University – while the fourth is in Switzerland and run by IBM.

Dr Biercuk said that the extraordinary level of controls realised in the Nanoscience Hub ‘are the fundamental enablers allowing us to make serious advances in our work’. His research group is using trapped atomic ions to harness and exploit quantum mechanical phenomena as resources to power a new generation of quantum technologies.

Other flagship projects at the Hub are Measurement and Control at the Nanoscale – the quantum-limited measurement and manipulation of nanoscale systems – run by Professor David Reilly; and Nanoscale Photonic Circuits – the harnessing of interactions between light waves, sound waves, and matter at the nanoscale – run by Professor Ben Eggleton.

Reshaping our world

The work being undertaken at the Nanoscience Hub is expected to help in reshaping our world in the years to come. But the Sydney facility is only one of many areas of expertise in Australia in the wider field of nanoscience.

Established under the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS), the Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF) links eight nodes across 21 institutions around the country to provide researchers and industry with access to state-of-the-art nanofabrication facilities.

These include the Victorian node – the Melbourne Centre for Nano-Fabrication, a joint venture between the CSIRO and the universities of Deakin, La Trobe, Melbourne, Monash, RMIT, and Swinburne; and the New South Wales node – located at the University of New South Wales.

With projects valued at over A$200 million, the Australian National Fabrication Facility enables Australian researchers to work across interdisciplinary research in micro and nano electronics, microfluidics and micro-electro-mechanical systems, bio-nano applications, advanced materials, photonics, and sensors and medical devices.

* Nanoscience is the study of the structure and function of materials on the scale of nanometres (one billionth of a metre or about the size of ten atoms in a row).

7 April 2016