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20 August 2018

Silanna to set up advanced manufacturing research facility at University of Adelaide

© Semiconductor Today Magazine / Juno PublishiPicture: Disco’s DAL7440 KABRA laser saw.

Silanna Group of Brisbane, Australia (which was founded in 2006 to develop and productize advanced technologies) is partnering with the University of Adelaide to establish an advanced manufacturing research facility on its campus, developing products through the engineering of innovative semiconductor technology.

The first stage of the partnership is the establishment of the ‘picoFAB’ facility in the Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences. The first of its kind in South Australia, the facility aims to engineer new semiconductor materials at the atomic level, using novel materials and unique techniques.

“It is the kind of investment in innovation, global connectivity and graduate skills that South Australia needs,” comments professor Peter Rathjen, University of Adelaide vice-chancellor & president.

The new facility will drive Silanna’s compound semiconductor research program, centered around a new US$6.5m molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) system that has been purpose-built by Veeco Instruments Inc of Plainview, NY, USA.

As an ISO 9001-certified firm with operations and design centers in Sydney, San Diego, Raleigh, Toronto and Singapore, Silanna has a track record in demonstrating new semiconductor technologies and commercialization. The establishment of picoFAB will add to the university’s diverse materials research programs, as well as the state’s growing advanced manufacturing industry.

Silanna’s products are used in the communications, defence, medical and space industries, including new types of solar cells, antennas for mobile phones, power switches and light-emitting diodes.

Chief scientist Dr Petar Atanackovic is a University of Adelaide graduate. After graduation he went to California’s Silicon Valley and Stanford University. He founded materials start-up Translucent Inc in Palo Alto, CA, USA. Upon returning to Australia, he developed commercial-scale aluminium gallium nitride (AlGaN).

“I wanted to help create the same opportunities I had in Silicon Valley at the University of Adelaide,” says Atanackovic. “The university has some unique capabilities on campus with research and training programs that are complementary to our operations, and access to a whole generation of potential young ‘quantum mechanics’ as future employees,” he adds.

“Together with the new high-tech ecosystem that’s developing in Adelaide, and Adelaide’s lifestyle and culture as a centre of learning, there are clear drawcards to overseas professions and businesses wanting to establish themselves and take advantage of the opportunities that are here. Adelaide is very similar to Santa Barbara about 30 years ago,” he reckons.

“The new partnership between the University of Adelaide and Silanna Group is a great example of industry and researchers working together to develop new commercial solutions and drive innovation,” says South Australian Minister for Industry and Skills the Hon. David Pisoni. “Silanna’s new facility adds advanced manufacturing capabilities in South Australia that will attract further investment into our state. Importantly, it will provide STEM students with access to world-class infrastructure that will give them practical experience and further their employment opportunities in their home state,” he adds.

“Having Silanna in our faculty means our students will be interacting with industry researchers and global leaders in materials engineering for a great educational experience,” comments professor Anton Middelberg, executive dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences.

Tags: MBE

Visit: https://ecms.adelaide.edu.au

Visit: www.silanna.com

Visit: www.veeco.com/technologies-and-products/mbe-systems

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