Funding to maintain Queensland’s innovation in research

Silicon carbide devices on a wafer in the cleanroom facility at the QMNC.
Silicon carbide devices on a wafer in the cleanroom facility at the QMNC.

Griffith University’s Queensland Micro- and Nanotechnology Centre (QMNC) will share in $4.59 million in Queensland Government funding to build on its innovative research and industry projects such as clean energy technology and sensors for harsh environments.

Minister for Science and Environment Leanne Enoch MP announced the funding for the Australian National Fabrication Facility — Queensland Node (ANFF-Q), housed within Queensland Microtechnology Facility (QMF) of QMNC and at the University of Queensland.

“This is the first recipient to receive funding as part of the $25 million Research Infrastructure Co-investment Fund (RICF), established earlier this year,’’ Ms Enoch said.

Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) Professor Andrea Bishop said the strategic infrastructure investment will further enhance the University’s capacity for research and innovation with industry, including collaborative work to bring prototypes closer to market.

“It represents an engagement platform as well as a technical capability. A key feature for industry is the accessibility not only to these state-of-the-art, purpose-built facilities here at the QMF, but also to the expertise and know-how of our exceptional research teams.”

The ANFF-Q GU Site is located within the QMF, which houses specialised materials development fabrication equipment for microelectronics, micro electromechanical systems (MEMS) and microfluidics.

Aimed at bridging the gap between University research and industry, the facility provides unique integration of research flexibility and processing at semiconductor-industry standards.

Mainly focused on silicon carbide technology, the QMF supports a full range of activities from research and development through to pilot production.

QMNC Director Professor Nam-Trung Nguyen said the funding would significantly enhance the capability and capacity of ANFF-Q to support these and many other cutting-edge research projects.

“Using the unique EpiFlx reactor fabrication technology Griffith researchers have developed world-first silicon carbide nanowires for use in nanoscale sensors that are suitable for harsh mining environments,’’ he said.

ANFF-Q also provides silicon carbide on silicon to some of the top 10 semiconductor companies and top academic research organisations in the world and validates the potential in silicon carbide.

Professor Nguyen said the centre had facilities specifically for the development of silicon carbide technologies and wide band gap device technology.

“Our knowledge and expertise of microtechnology and high-quality and productive processing has led us to support many Australian companies, including Cochlear, Vaxxas and Bluglass. Our capability will potentially attract our industry partners to relocate their operation to Queensland.”

The funding was awarded under the Queensland Government’sResearch Infrastructure Co-Investment Fund, which leverages federal funding from theNational Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy(NCRIS).