The University of Southampton

The ORC is set to rebuild

Published: 20 November 2006

Southampton City Planners have given the go-ahead for the replacement facility for the new Mountbatten Complex, which was destroyed by the fire last year. With the demolition of the remaining sections of the fire-damaged building well underway, construction of the new Mountbatten Complex is expected to start early in the new year. The University of Southampton Deputy Vice-Chancellor Adam Wheeler is confident that the new building will be completed by the summer of 2008.

This comes as welcome news to ORC staff and PhD students who were based in the Mountbatten Building. Many students lost valuable research as a result of the fire but they have managed to continue their studies in the well-equipped temporary labs and offices that have been set up around the University’s campus.

The new state-of-the-art facility is being designed and constructed with the needs of future generations of researchers in the Optoelectronics Research Centre and School of Electronics and Computer Science at the forefront. The new interdisciplinary facility will provide flexible research space for fabrication and characterization of materials. Although based on Silicon fabrication technology and largely using Silicon substrates, the new building will enable researchers to concentrate primarily on structuring and modifying materials at the nanoscale. These materials will include Silicon, but will also enable polymers and more exotic materials such as Zinc Oxide, high-refractive index metallic oxides, and lithium niobate, to be nanostructured. The work will create a new generation of unique nanodevices and applications to satisfy the ever-increasing needs of society.

Director of the ORC, Professor David Payne, commented: ‘The Vice-Chancellor promised that the new Mountbatten Building and clean room complex would be bigger and better than before - and it certainly looks to be the iconic building we were all hoping for. The design is a careful balance between cost and function that provides all the necessary world-class facilities to allow internationally-leading research to continue at Southampton for the next two decades.’


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