Ground breaking nanotechnology here in Melbourne
Monash University and the Melbourne Centre for Nanofabrication (MCN) have formalised an agreement with an international advanced materials equipment manufacturer, Ulvac, that will enable ground-breaking nanotechnology research to take place in the Monash area.
Through a combination of knowledge sharing, training, and engagement with local researchers, Monash will work with Ulvac to develop cutting-edge fabrication technologies with a particular focus on medical diagnostics and related biomedical fields.
These research areas are dependent on the ability to manipulate structures that are a fraction of a human hair in size – the combination of Monash’s research prowess, Ulvac’s expertise, and MCN’s facility is envisaged to improve the understanding required to do this.
“The agreement demonstrates the ability of the Monash Platforms Network and the world- leading nanotechnology facilities available in the area such as MCN to attract international and established business opportunities, while also reiterating Ulvac’s long-standing commitment to the Australian research community,” Professor Nico Voelcker, MCN Scientific Director, said.
Ulvac specialises in developing the machines necessary for the fabrication of modern sensors and detectors, work that is part of an enormous field called nanofabrication which is rapidly becoming essential not just to medical devices but also electronics, quantum computing, and advanced manufacturing.
The nanoscale structures that allow these technologies to work are far smaller than dust and any contaminants can completely compromise a device. This means that to push the limits of these devices requires hyper-clean environments.
This kind of research environment is only available in a few places and the largest in the Southern Hemisphere is the MCN located next to Monash University’s Clayton campus. The Centre is the flagship facility of a network of open-access nanofabrication equipment called the Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF) which has worked closely with Ulvac for a number of years.
Expert engineers at the MCN and academic research teams will work with Ulvac to better understand the fabrication processes behind these cutting-edge nanotechnologies. As the MCN is open to all researchers from industry and academia, the aim of this collaboration, which could include the placement of new scientific equipment at the Centre, will be able to benefit both national and international research communities.
“I’m looking forward to the discoveries that are made both during and because of this collaboration – it truly is an exciting time,” Professor Voelcker added.
About the Melbourne Centre for Nanofabrication
MCN is a world-class, purpose-built facility boasting state-of-the-art cleanrooms at class 10,000 and class 100, reconfigurable biochemistry and PC2 labs, a microscopy lab and focused ion beam lab. These specialised work environments house top-of-the-line micro/nano fabrication equipment and instrumentation.
Constructed in 2010 in the South-East Melbourne Innovation Precinct, MCN provides access to high-grade fabrication and investigative instruments for researchers, academics and industry professionals across Australia and internationally.
MCN supports a large number of capabilities and our emphasis is the chemical and biological manipulation of nano-structures and the design, rapid-prototyping and fabrication of nano-devices. Our outputs are primarily in the fields of solar energy, biosensing, micro-nano fluidic devices, drug delivery, micro-mechanical systems, optics and medical bionics.