New nanoscience hub opens at the University of Sydney
The University of Sydney has recently opened a brand new, custom-built facility for nanoscience research and teaching. The new building is home to the Australian Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology (AINST) – and has been designed to enable the precise measurements when researching and working in the nanoscale.
Nanoscience is the study of the structure and function of materials on the scale of nanometres, which is one billionth of a metre or roughly the size of about ten atoms in a row. Nanoscience and nanotechnology research is currently impacting a huge variety of areas including energy and the environment; health and medicine; and communications, computing and security.
The highest-precision laboratories in the Nanoscience Hub feature a combination of controls on temperature, air pressure, mechanical vibrations, and electromagnetic interference, which makes these spaces among the most tightly controlled anywhere in the world.
Special design features include:
- 'floating’ research laboratory floors built on a concrete slab that is decoupled from the walls, the building superstructure, and adjoining spaces, to create an incredibly stable environment with low vibrations for high-precision measurements
- a power distribution network designed to provide a low-noise earth reference voltage and “clean” mains power with minimal distortion, pickup, or stray currents.
- electromagnetic shielding of all submains distribution lines and in research laboratories designed to suppress unwanted interference from outside the lab
- high-precision air conditioning in the research laboratories designed to maintain room temperatures stable to within 0.1 degree by replacing all air in the room once every minute
- centrally distributed laboratory services routed through a specially designed “grey space” corridor
You can find out more about the special design of the Nanoscience Hub on the AINST section of the University of Sydney’s website here and in the video.