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© University of Sheffield Components | July 01, 2022

Research facility to help UK take the lead in semi R&D

University of Sheffield announces a "major research facility" that will support the UK in its position as a "world-leader" in semiconductor R&D.

The National Epitaxy Facility, a collaboration between the Universities of Sheffield, Cambridge and University College London (UCL), has been awarded £12 million in funding from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and will be a critical element of the UK’s strategy in semiconductor technologies, a press release reads.

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee has launched an inquiry into the UK’s semiconductor industry to take stock of its capabilities and what the government can do to strengthen the sector amid concerns over the future of global supply chains.

The National Epitaxy Facility led by Sheffield is said to be built on more than "40 years semiconductor and epitaxy research" in the University’s Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering. Its role is to deliver bespoke semiconductor wafers to "world-class semiconductor research projects" in universities and industry across the UK and to provide access to the expertise and resources needed to progress from basic discovery to mass manufacture for major economic/societal impact for the UK.

I am delighted that UKRI has continued to fund and support the National Epitaxy Facility at this critical time for the UK to increase its technological innovation in semiconductors. Semiconductors have been the backbone of modern technological society for more than 60 years and the semiconductor industry has had an estimated overall economic value of around $8tn. Practically every aspect of our modern world is dependent on semiconductor devices, from silicon microchips that control computers, mobile phones, aircraft and even washing machines, to the internet, electric vehicles and LED lighting that has revolutionised global energy efficiency, said Professor Jon Heffernan, Director of the National Epitaxy Facility and Professor in Electrical Engineering at the University of Sheffield, in the press release. 

The new funding means the facility can continue to support R&D in the UK for the next five to ten years.

Image: "A Molecular Beam Epitaxy System for Quantum Technologies - a key piece of equipment in the National Epitaxy Facility."

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November 15 2022 12:19 am V20.10.16-1
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