Nobel Prize winner tours Heriot-Watt/SUPA nanoscience facility

Nobel Physics Laureate Professor Klaus von Klitzing toured a new a state-of-the-art electron beam lithography system at Heriot-Watt during his visit to speak at the first of this year's colloquia for the Heriot-Watt University Physics department.

Professor von Klitzing, Director of the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Physics, Stuttgart, was the first of three Nobel Laureates invited by Dr Eitan Abraham on behalf of the Physics Department. He spoke on "Thirty Years of the Quantum Hall Effect".

The other two Nobel Prize winners to speak are Professor Gerard 't Hooft, University of Utrecht, on "Black Holes in Elementary Particles" in November, and Professor Albert Fert, Thales Group, France, on "The world of spintronics: electrons, spins, computers and telephones" in December.

The electron beam lithography system was funded under the new £48m Scottish Universities Physics Alliance (SUPA) initiative. This instrument - a £0.5m Raith Pioneer system - allows features down to 20nm width to be patterned on semiconductor chips. A laser interferometer-controlled stage allows nanoscale features to be patterned faithfully over mm areas.

Professor von Klitzing said that similar equipment was an essential tool in his present work.

Heriot-Watt researchers Dr Robert Hadfield and Dr Brian Gerardot plan to use the instrument to create advanced nanophotonic structures in a variety of materials, in collaboration with partners in academia and industry.