tyndall annual report 2010

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Tyndall Annual Report 2010

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  • www.tyndall.ie

    CO

    MMUNICATIONS

    ENERGY

    HEALTH

    ENVIRONMENT

  • report contents

    www.tyndall.ie

    Page 1

    Message from the Chairman ......................................... 2

    CEO Report ............................................................................. 3

    1. 2010 Highlights ............................................................ 4

    2. Research

    2.1 Micro/Nanoelectronics ...................................... 12

    2.2 Microsystems ........................................................ 14

    2.3 Photonics ............................................................... 16

    2.4 Theory, Modelling & Design ............................. 18

    3. Technology Support ................................................ 20

    4. National Access Programme ................................ 25

    5. Outreach Programme ............................................ 29

    6. Graduate Education ................................................. 30

    7. Financial ........................................................................ 35

    8. Tyndall Board .............................................................. 36

  • Message from the Chairman

    T yndall National Institute saw a number of great technicalsuccesses during 2010, ranging from the demonstration of newways to speed-up the operation of photonic systems to a wearableradar system-on-a-chip for monitoring the heart. It is my belief thatinnovation, leading to the renewal of the Irish economy, will comethrough the transformation of Irish ideas and inventiveness into theexploitation of new market opportunities. This will depend uponthe coupling of excellent research and innovative discovery, such asyou will see reported here, with technology and product developmentby companies and entrepreneurs. Thus, our relationships with industry,and the translation by them of technology into exploitation, arejust as important to us as the excellence of Tyndalls technical devel-opments.

    I am therefore delighted to see the strength of our developing rela-tionships with major international companies such as Intel, UnitedTechnologies, Seagate and Analog Devices, as well as with indigenouscompanies such as Intune Networks, Firecomms, Eblana Photonics,Endeco, BiancaMed and Farran Technology. They are all mentionedin this years report, as just a few examples of the companies that useTyndall technologies and expertise. In 2010 the government, throughEnterprise Ireland, established two Competence Centre at Tyndall in Microelectronics and Applied Nanotechnology. These industry-ledcentres will help to further-expand the links between Tyndall andindustry.

    Technical success comes through having highly talented and moti-vated people in the organisation. The investments by the Irish HigherEducation Authority, Science Foundation Ireland, Enterprise Irelandand the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Innovation have beenessential in creating an excellent working environment at Tyndall,which has attracted world-class researchers.

    Page 2

    Helios Focused Ion Beam System.

    I was delighted during the year to see the external recognition givento leading researchers Jean-Pierre Colinge and Eoin OReilly, and alsoto read about the awards won by Tyndall research students, many atinternational conferences. I offer my hearty congratulations to all ourPhD students who successfully passed their viva examinations duringthe year, and on achieving this important milestone in their careers.We have significantly improved our fabrication facilities during theyear and these now include a training fab to give our students andpost-docs hands-on training in basic semiconductor manufacturingtechniques. It can be accessed by third level students from all overIreland through the INSPIRE network and other training schemes.

    I was impressed by the can-do attitude and teamwork displayedby all staff in response to the substantial damage caused to parts ofthe Institute resulting from the exceptional flooding affecting areasof Cork City in late November 2009. This is also a great tribute tothe skill and hard work of the technical and facilities staff who, inaddition, have also consistently delivered considerable energy savingsin recent years, culminating in winning the 2010 National Award forRenewable Energy Systems from the Sustainable Energy Authorityof Ireland.

    As the Tyndall Chairman, I am very grateful to the members of theBoard, who have given their time so generously during 2010 tohelp the Institute develop and prosper. The hugebreadth of experience that they bring hasbeen invaluable, and the Institutes successover the year could not have been achievedwithout their help and guidance. I am alsovery grateful for the support the Institutehas received from UCC and CITresearchers and their respec-tive Presidents Dr. MichaelMurphy and Dr. BrendanMurphy.

    _____________________________Chairman, Tyndall

  • CEO Report

    I t is now 5 years since Tyndall was formally established as aNational Institute. The period has seen major changes in theInstitute, including an overall 25% growth in activity and a near-doubling of the number of graduate students based here, the latterin-line with targets set by the government in 2006. Tyndall hasbeen a major beneficiary of Irish government investment, which ismanifested in the excellence of our facilities and the high-quality ofour staff and students, who come from all over the world to workhere. The return on that investment has to be measured both in theexcellence of our outputs, and in terms of the ultimate benefits thesewill bring to the Irish economy. This is especially-so in todays verychallenging economic conditions. You will see from this report that2010 was a remarkable year for Tyndall, with excellent resultsachieved in research, technology development, industry engagementand income, in spite of the very challenging environment. Tyndallsprogress continues to be solidly-founded upon research excellencein science and engineering, demonstrated by the quality of ourpublications in key scientific journals and the prestigious awardsmade to our staff and students.

    The quality of our outputs is an essential precursor to the raisingof research funds from a range of national and international agencies,and the enabler for the translation of research into exploitation.Our researchers produced exceptional results within the EU FP7

    programme during 2010, winning 11.3m for our own research,plus an additional 3m for collaborating Irish industrypartners. We were also very pleased to announce impor-tant new research collaborations with companies such asIntel and United Technologies, and the establishment oftwo new Competence Centres hosted at Tyndall. In addi-

    tion, the government announced the establishmentof an important and exciting new InternationalEnergy Research Centre, also to be hosted atTyndall, with the objective of working closelywith national and international experts on anindustry-driven energy research agenda. These vitalcollaborations with both indigenous companies andmultinationals ensure that our research programmesare closely aligned to industry and market needs, and

    contribute substantially to the Institutes sustainability.I am very grateful to all our industrial supporters andco-workers for their support.

    One of Tyndalls most important characteristics is itsability to translate basic research and knowledgeinto practical materials, devices and or/systemswhich do useful things. This depends upon having

    available high quality facilities to model, design,

    Page 3

    fabricate, test and package materials and devices. The continuousenhancement of this infrastructure is essential if researchers, studentsand industry are to be provided with state-of-art laboratories. During2010, further funds to expand and develop our fabrication capabilitieswere secured under Cycle 5 of the Higher Education AuthorityProgramme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI 5). Thesewill be used to create a completely new type of FlexiFab, to allowTyndall researchers and their collaborators to work with a wide rangeof active materials in new forms and combinations. Researchers inall Irish third-level institutions can gain access to Tyndall facilitiesand expertise through the SFI-funded National Access Programme(NAP), which facilitated many projects during the year, ranging fromthe modelling of the atomic structures of complex oxides to thedevelopment of systems for the analysis of cancer biomarkers andsports performance factors.

    Tyndall has been very active during the year in the training of peopleat all levels. Our outreach activities ranged from the highly successfulScience Snaps competition for schools to our UREKA site, whichhosts undergraduate students from all over the world for focussedsummer project work. Many of these students subsequently returnedto undertake postgraduate work. During the year, we graduated 20PhD students and now have 136 post-graduate students based inthe Institute. Tyndall is also spear-heading two structured nationalgraduate training programmes, which are described in the report.

    Our current and future success rests on our exceptional staff andstudents, who have helped position the Institute well for the future.During 2010, they have further-raised the bar for the Institutesaccomplishments and achievements, and I am deeply grateful for theircommitment. I would particularly like to thank the Tyndall Board, itsChairman Alastair Glass, and the members of our External AdvisoryBoard for their constant support and advice. Tyndall is closelydependent upon the support of our parent university, UCC, and ourpartners in CIT, and I am very grateful to our colleagues and friendsin both institutions for all they have do