PARIS – ITA, the advanced technologies research institute in Trapani, Sicily, has selected a carbon nanotube growth tool from Surrey NanoSystems, a joint venture between the University of Surrey's Advanced Technology Institute and CEVP Ltd, so as to conduct nanocomposites and mechanical sensor research. In parallel, both parties have signed a three-year development partnership to share intellectual property.
ITA said it has chosen the NanoGrowth tool for its "ability to repeatably grow defined carbone nanotube configurations and to grow materials at low temperatures". The tool, due to be delivered in August 2007, will contribute to ITA's research on carbon nanotube-based nanocomposites and mechanical sensors for medical and aerospace applications.
In addition to NanoGrowth tool's core CVD (chemical vapour deposition) and PECVD (plasma-enhanced CVD) nanomaterial growth capabilities, Surrey NanoSystems noted that it would fit modules for catalyst delivery, ion etching and thin-film deposition so that ITA researchers will be able to grow precision single- and multi-walled nanotube structures and silicon nanowires, as well as dope, etch and deposit silicon.
Surrey NanoSystems claimed it is currently developing advanced processing templates to support the fabrication of carbon nanotube and silicon nanowire structures for commercial manufacture of semiconductor devices and related electronics applications. Under the three-year development partnership, ITA will receive these recipes in advance of launch, in return for beta testing.
Commenting on the announcement, Dr. Giulia Lanzara, coordinator of carbon nanotube research at ITA, declared: For ITA's forthcoming research projects into nanocomposites and mechanical sensors we need to be able to repeatably grow specific nanotube configurations. The architecture of this tool has been specifically designed to produce repeatable results. Along with excellent expansion capability, NanoGrowth gives us a platform to develop our ideas and create commercial-grade automated processes."