29 July 2010


University of Southampton and Oxford Instruments sign collaboration agreement

UK-based equipment maker Oxford Instruments and the School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) at the University of Southampton says that they have signed a research-based collaboration agreement.

The university’s Southampton Nanofabrication Centre (SNC), which is operated by the ECS Nano Research Group, has 10 Oxford Instruments systems installed, including the FlexAL ALD tool, Ionfab300Plus ion beam tool, Plasmalab System400 sputtering tool, Plasmalab System80Plus RIE plasma etch tool, Nanofab1000 nanoscale growth tool, System100 PECVD plasma deposition and System100 ICP380 plasma etch tools. The firm's process engineers will have use of this and selected other equipment at the SNC, which opened last year. Oxford Instruments says that this will in effect expand its research capabilities, and increase the process offering it is able to make to its customers.

In addition, Oxford Instruments is funding a post-doctoral position to work on a collaborative project with the SNC (and other partners) that will build on work funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) at the SNC as part of the Nanotechnology Grand Challenges for Healthcare research programme. The project will research novel materials and technologies for use as nanowire biosensors. The ultimate objective of both the Oxford Instruments and EPSRC projects is to build a nanowire biosensor system that can be used as a diagnostic tool for point-of-care applications.

“We are certain the relationship between our two organisations will be mutually beneficial, and our aim is that it will result in a commercial product for use in the life science and healthcare markets,” says SNC director professor Peter Ashburn.  

“Oxford Instruments has an established relationship with the University of Southampton, with a substantial range of its equipment already installed in the SNC," says Frazer Anderson, business development director at Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology. "One of Oxford Instruments’ key objectives is to pursue responsible development and deeper understanding of the world through science and technology, and this collaboration with such a prestigious research university is just the type of activity that will achieve this end.”  

Dr Alec Reader, director of the Nanotechnology Knowledge Transfer Network (NanoKTN), was instrumental in facilitating the initial discussions between Oxford Instruments and SNC and has strongly encouraged industry–university collaborations of this type. Oxford Instruments is currently involved in discussions with the NanoKTN on ideas for taking this research forward to the next stage.

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University of Waterloo orders multiple OIPT systems

See: Oxford Instruments Company Profile

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