Volume 12, Number 3 September 24, 2004

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Deal fosters synchrotron co-operation with Germany

The U of S and a major German research centre have agreed to pursue cross-Atlantic collaborations in leading-edge ultra-small technologies.
A memorandum of understanding just signed in Germany “will help to bolster synchrotron-related research at the U of S while raising our international profile in these rapidly growing fields of research,” says Vice-President of Research Steven Franklin, who signed on behalf of the University.

The agreement will foster international collaboration in synchrotron science, especially in areas of microfabrication, X-ray lithography and nanostructure technology. It should lead to collaborative research projects and the exchange of scientists and graduate students.

The pact was signed Sept. 15 by the U of S and the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe (Karlsruhe Research Centre) during a Team Saskatchewan trip to Europe led by the provincial government to showcase the province’s capacity.

In a related move, Sven Achenbach, an expert in microsystems fabrication, will join the U of S from the Institute for Microstructure Technology, a joint venture of the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe and University of Karlsruhe.

Using synchrotron X-rays, Achenbach develops ways to manufacture microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and nanostructures (billionths of a metre). These machines and components can have features many times smaller than the width of a human hair. They are already found in some health and industrial products.

Achenbach is also a key player in the push to establish a Canadian Synchrotron Nanostructures Facility (CSNF) at the CLS. He will join the U of S department of electrical engineering next March.

The CSNF proposal is led by David Klymyshyn, U of S associate professor of electrical engineering and research scientist with TRLabs. “A lot of the micro-scale applications are beginning to permeate everyday life,” Klymyshyn says. “A longer-term challenge will be to go to the nano scale. Synchrotron-based fabrication techniques can offer some real advantages.”

For more information, contact communications.office@usask.ca

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