Public Release: 

$5-million nanoscopic characterization unit to be inaugurated at Hebrew University

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

About $5 million has been invested in state-of-the-art equipment for the new Unit for Nanoscopic Characterization, which will be launched on Monday, Nov. 3, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology.

The opening ceremony, to be held on the Edmond J. Safra Campus of the university at Givat Ram, will also mark the opening of a three-day conference sponsored by the Hebrew University Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology on "Science and Applications of Nanostructures," featuring presentations by leading scientists from Israel and abroad.

The Unit for Nanoscopic Characterization, sponsored by the university's Yissum Research Development Company with financial backing from the Yeshaya Horowitz Association, constitutes an extensive, concentrated collection of advanced equipment for analysis of a large variety of materials, said Prof. Oded Millo, the acting head of the Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Center. The unit is used extensively by researchers from chemistry, physics, geology and the life sciences, he said, as well as by representatives of industry.

"The equipment includes the latest versions of electron and scanning probe microscopes that enable examination and characterization of structural, electrical and chemical material properties with nanometric-scale (one part of a million of a millimeter) resolution," said Prof. Amir Sa'ar, the head of the Nanoscopic Characterization Unit.

Avi Barak, the director of the Yissum Research Development Company - the body that deals with commercialization of research at the Hebrew University - said that nanotechnology is today an area of major interest to industry, with such giants as GE, IBM, Intel, Samsung and Sony all working continuously towards further miniaturization. Yissum has successfully promoted a number of projects in the area of nanotechnology in recent years, he added.

Barak said that the Unit for Nanoscopic Characterization, serving as it does both university and industrial researchers, is an important element in providing further impetus to fruitful cooperation between academia and industry.

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