Griffith University’s Micro and Nanotechnology Centre has officially joined the Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF) which links universities, researchers and hi-tech industry across Australia.

Queensland Chief Scientist, Dr Geoff Garrett launched the collaboration.

Operations Director of Queensland Micro and Nanotechnology Centre Alan Iacopi said joining the Queensland node of the ANFF would enhance opportunities for sharing expertise, training and state of the art fabrication facilities.

It could also lead to an explosion of job opportunities in the semi-conductor industry in Australia.

“Griffith brings to this collaboration a world-first system for the deposition of silicon carbide (SiC) onto 300 mm silicon wafers which has been developed in conjunction with our industry partner SPTS Technologies,” Mr Iacopi said.

“We believe we are the first in the world do this epitaxially, which means following the same crystal structure as the silicon crystal substrate.”

The silicon carbide microchip is more advanced than the better known silicon chip because SiC enables more efficient and sensitive devices to operate in extreme heat or corrosive environments. And therefore has many potential applications from high volume to niche products.

Node Director of ANFF-Queensland, Professor Justin Cooper-White said the joining of Griffith’s QMNC to the existing ANFF-Q sites at University of Queensland brings new expertise to the advanced fabrication technologies already in place across this expert national network.

“The addition of Griffith’s unique reactor to the ANFF-Q facilities underlines the bright future for Queensland as a centre for hi-tech industry growth,” Professor Justin Cooper-White said.

Dr Francesca Iacopi agreed that joining the ANFF will provide the Queensland Micro and Nanotechnology Centre with the opportunity to foster an emerging industry and create more job opportunities.

“Until now the micro-systems manufacturing industry hasn’t really existed in Australia, but we are training people to lead growth in that sector,” Dr Francesca Iacopi said.

“We can provide people with the skills and encouragement they need not to just work in this field but potentially start up hi-tech companies of their own.

“Rather than a Silicon Valley, Queensland could soon have a Silicon Carbide Coast.”