Posted: February 15, 2010

University of Southampton's Nano Research Group expands focus

(Nanowerk News) Two new appointments at the University of Southampton's Nano Research Group will drive research into a whole new range of nano and bio-nano technologies and lead to global industrial research collaborations.
Professor Peter Ashburn, who currently leads the Nano Research Group at the University’s School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) Group is to become Director of the Southampton Nanofabrication Centre, a state-of-the-art building fitted out with £50m of the latest nanofabrication technologies.
“I look forward to developing our new Centre,” said Professor Ashburn. “We anticipate that all of our partners will be able to benefit from our unique multidisciplinary capability and our wide-ranging nanofabrication expertise.”
Professor Hiroshi Mizuta is to become Head of the Nano Research Group, which carries out research which focuses on fabrication and engineering at the nanometre-length scale in order to produce a wide range of novel devices and integrated systems; much of this research will be realised in the Southampton Nanofabrication Centre.
"In my new role, I will have excellent opportunities to combine a range of different technologies to take us in new directions,” said Professor Mizuta. “The equipment in the new clean rooms means that we are now capable of fabricating down to one nanometre and can view nanostructures in far more detail. This will result in more interesting collaborations with industry."
Both academics have a strong industry background.
After starting his career at the Philips Research Labs in 1974, where he gained valuable experience of silicon bipolar and MOS technology and electron beam lithography, Professor Ashburn joined the University of Southampton and since then has published over 250 papers and made many research breakthroughs in nanoelectronics technology, particularly in the field of silicon bipolar technology.
In 2006, he devised a method to make bipolar transistors twice as fast as current devices; more recent research involves the development of new nanoelectronics technology for healthcare applications, including blood-testing kits which can be mass produced using nanowires.
Professor Mizuta joined ECS from Hitachi. He set up the Hitachi Central Research Laboratory in Tokyo in 1985 and in 1989 he moved to Cambridge where he set up a new Hitachi laboratory and started to liaise with academics at the University of Cambridge with a view to developing ultra small devices which operate by controlling the motion of individual electrons and spins; he has just received a £1M grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to make further groundbreaking advances in this field.
His mission is to develop new types of silicon-based devices which create advanced functionalities at nanoscale so that future ICT technology such as mobile phones and computers will be even lighter, more functional and more economical.
Commenting on these new appointments, Professor Harvey Rutt, Head of ECS said: “Peter and Hiroshi will be leading the management and research directions of our truly world-beating new centre. We have a range of fabrication and characterisation facilities which can be found nowhere else. In a few years time, the latest electronic gadget in your pocket will contain devices invented here by these two and their co-workers.
Source: University of Southampton