Carl Zeiss SMT, Calit2@ UCI Announce Nanotechnology Partnership

11.28.05 – Carl Zeiss SMT, a global semiconductor and nanotechnology instrument manufacturer, and the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2 ) at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) will embark on a strategic alliance designed to provide a Southern California regional center of excellence for nanotechnology and biotechnology research, and advanced materials development and innovation.

Zeiss EVO Scanning Electron Microscope
Zeiss employees prepare to unload the
EVO multipurpose scanning electron
microscope at the Calit2 Building.

Carl Zeiss SMT and Calit2 will establish the ZEISS Center of Excellence in the Calit2 building on the UCI campus. Carl Zeiss SMT will provide three fully equipped state-of-the-art electron microscopes worth approximately $2.5 million. The equipment will be shared by Calit2’s researchers, its industry partners and Carl Zeiss SMT´s application development team, who will use the lab to demonstrate and further enhance the instruments’ capabilities and application ranges for faculty users as well as Carl Zeiss SMT´s customers.

The new center will house a ZEISS 1540 EsB CrossBeam® workstation, a combination of ZEISS´ proprietary GEMINI® ultra-high resolution field-emission electron beam technology and focused ion beam (FIB) technology. Other equipment will include a ZEISS ULTRA 55 CDS ultra-high-resolution field-emission scanning electron microscope (FESEM) and a ZEISS EVO® multi- purpose scanning electron microscope (SEM) with variable chamber pressure capability, offering bio-scientists a unique opportunity to image cells in a representative wet environment. All three instruments are considered leading-edge technology in their respective fields.

Officials from Calit2 and Carl Zeiss SMT are equally enthusiastic about the opportunities provided by this new partnership. “We are proud to partner with Carl Zeiss SMT, a respected worldwide leader in semiconductor technology, and materials research and analysis equipment,” said UCI Chancellor Michael Drake. “Establishing this innovative center of excellence will create ongoing advantages for the many fields that benefit from cutting-edge nanotechnology research.” 

The high-level microscopy offered by the new center also will be particularly useful to the aerospace, biomedical, semiconductor and energy systems industries located in the wider vicinity of the UCI campus.

“Carl Zeiss SMT believes strongly in the world-class research and capacity for innovation demonstrated by Calit2 and UC Irvine. The nanotechnology instrumentation suite and resources will immediately enable the pace of innovation to accelerate and the scope of this research to be greatly extended,” added Peter Clark, president and general manager of Carl Zeiss SMT Inc. With this new center, Calit2 researchers will have the ability to conduct more advanced research in nanostructure materials research and engineering, benefiting researchers from physical sciences, biological sciences and engineering.

“We’re very pleased that these state-of-the-art electron microscopes will be available to Calit2 researchers and our industrial partners,” added Professor Albert F. Yee, Calit2 division director and materials scientist. “These instruments are essential for anyone performing nanotechnology and materials research, and with them, we’ll be able to extend the boundaries of these fields.”

“UCI and Southern California offer tremendous exposure for Carl Zeiss SMT, because this is a high technology growth area and a hotbed of bio-tech activity,” said Daniel R. Mumm, UCI assistant professor of chemical engineering and materials science, and one of the initiators of the alliance with Carl Zeiss SMT. “In addition to the ever-increasing number of start-up and mid-size technology companies located here, we have well-established aerospace and telecommunications industries that continually require access to ultra-high-resolution electron microscopy.”

While the new electron microscopy center itself is not unique within an academic environment, it will be one of only a couple in the country that exists in partnership with an instrument manufacturer. “The benefit to UCI is continuous upgrading of this key instrumentation suite, which will keep us at the forefront of advanced materials, nanotechnology and biotechnology research,” Mumm said. “Additionally, this partnership provides Carl Zeiss SMT with access to UC researchers and our industry associates who will push the existing technologies in new directions, potentially opening up new market applications for Carl Zeiss SMT.”

Delivery of the ZEISS equipment to Calit2 began in November and is expected to be complete in December.

About Carl Zeiss SMT: With a wide-ranging product portfolio, Carl Zeiss SMT meets the requirements of the key processes involved in nanotechnology and microchip production, making it one of the leading direct and indirect suppliers to the semiconductor industry. As an innovation leader in the field of Lithography Optics and optical and electron beam-based inspection and measuring systems, Carl Zeiss SMT generates important momentum for further development in the chip industry and nanotechnology. Together with its subsidiaries at locations in Germany, UK, USA and France, the international group of companies employs a total workforce of some 1,800 people. For the latest fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2004, the company recorded Net Sales of EUR 560 Million. The stock corporation emerged from the Semiconductor Technology business group of Carl Zeiss as a 100 percent subsidiary on Oct.1, 2001. For further information look at www.smt.zeiss.com/nts.

About the University of California, Irvine: Celebrating 40 years of innovation, the University of California, Irvine is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Founded in 1965, UCI is among the fastest-growing University of California campuses, with more than 24,000 undergraduate and graduate students and about 1,400 faculty members. The second-largest employer in dynamic Orange County, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $3 billion.

Media Contacts Anna Lynn Spitzer, (949) 824-3317, aspitzer@uci.edu.