Investing in the ‘cutting edge’

The new Quantum-Nano Centre at the University of Waterloo has begun to fill its centre with the “machines of tomorrow.”

UW has purchased the GEN10 Molecular Beam Epitaxy system from Veeco Instruments Inc., a company that develops process equipment solutions for LED, solar, data storage and other advanced manufacturers.

The system will be installed in July and requires a couple months of preparation until it will be in full commission. The GEN10 system is an economical, state of the art system that beat out several other contending venders to reside in the Canadian hub of technology at the University of Waterloo.

“Veeco had won the competition,” expressed Zbigniew Washilewski, a professor at the University of Waterloo, as well as the Endowed Technology Chair at the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology.

Washilewski explained that they explored many venders with the particular material system needed, but Veeco offers “some of the world’s best systems,” so the GEN10 system was the appropriate choice.

The system will establish an epitaxial facility, which is of crucial importance to the Quantum-Nano centre. The GEN10 system is a cluster MBE system that permits at most three configurable, material-specific growth modules that will enable high system utilization, while allowing numerous researchers to perform unattended calibrations and growths in unison.

“It’s quite an investment and we hope to build quite a few cutting-edge programs,” Washilewski stated.

This new system will be the first one in the recently opened Quantum-Nano Centre and will be accessed by graduates and researchers. Washilewski explained that it is not a training kind of machine and therefore won’t be available to undergraduate students.

The hope with the installation of this system will be to attract and retain first-class researchers, graduate students and collaborators, and greatly accelerate the progress of nanotechnology, as well as the field of quantum devices and quantum information.

This system will contribute to the research roadmap of the university and fuel various student and research aspirations.

Washilewski is an expert in this kind of technology,and is of vital importance to this establishment. He has worked with Veeco Instruments in a previous job on a research council in Ottawa and therefore is familiar with the equipment.

The funds for this system will be provided by the Canadian Foundation of Innovation (CFI), which set up a leading edge fund in 2006 for this system grant. The first phase of this project is estimated to cost $1.4 million.

The GEN10 system is aimed to promote the importance of innovative Quantum-Nano research and will aid students, collaborators and researchers in their research.

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