Nanotechnology research centre announced

The University of Alberta, Sun Microsystems Inc. and Alberta Innovation and Science on Monday announced they are working together to establish the Center of Excellence in Integrated NanoTools, a research centre the university hopes will make it a world leader in nanotechnology.

Also referred to as molecular manufacturing, nanotechnology deals with the design of extremely small electronic circuits and mechanical devices built at the molecular level of matter, ranging in size from 0.1nm to 100nm, according to the Institute of Nanotechnology in Stirling, Scotland.

However, the goal of the Center for Excellence in Integrated NanoTools is to provide researchers with an environment to better understand and develop nanotechnology, which could enable the development of microchips, microsystems and nanodevices.

“Nanotechnology is a strategic field with tremendous interdisciplinary benefits,” said Dr. David Lynch, dean of engineering at the Edmonton-based University of Alberta, in a statement. He elaborated in the same statement that the Center is designed to support and integrate nanoresearchers in a variety of disciplines, including information and communication technology, energy and manufacturing.

In a memorandum of understanding signed Jan. 31, Sun Microsystems, based in Santa Clara, Calif., demonstrated intent to contribute more than $2 million in Sun hardware, Sun Open Network Environment (Sun ONE) software, and Sun StorEdge storage systems and services to the centre.

Alberta Innovation and Science and the University of Alberta will provide $500,000 and $700,000 respectively.

The University of Alberta is already home to the National Research Council (NRC) National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT), established in 2001.

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