Wallenberg supports new research infrastructure

​Chalmers will receive just over SEK 50 million from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation. Onsala Space Observatory will use their funds for two new radio telescopes. The Chalmers Nanofabrication Laboratory will purchase the equipment needed for Swedish nanotechnology research to maintain its world-class position.

​The Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation is the largest private financier of research in Sweden. In 2012, the foundation will concentrate on life science and nanotechnology – two of Chalmers' Areas of Advance.

Better nanoscale fabrication
Chalmers Nanofabrication Laboratory will receive SEK 22 million that will be used for new nanolithography equipment. The funds will primarily be used for a new electron beam lithography (EBL) system, which is a technology used to produce electronics components and other nanosized structures. The technology is very important within nanotechnology and has been a prerequisite for several important research breakthroughs from Chalmers recently (use the links below to see examples).

Chalmers is the node for electron beam lithography within Myfab, the Swedish national research infrastructure.

"The grant will allow us to purchase the latest technology to ensure that Swedish nanotechnology research stays at the cutting edge of development," says Peter Modh, Department Head at the Nanofabrication Laboratory. "Amongst other things, we will be able to use the equipment to cut the size of the smallest producible features in half.”

Capacity will also increase, for example, by another person being employed for electron beam lithography. This is important since an increasing number of research projects need to use the technology, at the same time there is a need on the part of industry to use the equipment at Chalmers.

The Nanofabrication Laboratory at Chalmers is one of the most advanced clean room laboratories in the university world. It will now be equipped with new technology for nanolithography.
Photo: Jan-Olof Yxell, Chalmers


New radio telescopes to measure how the Earth moves
Onsala Space Observatory will receive SEK 29.7 million to build two new radio telescopes. Together they will measure the Earth's movements more precisely than previously, using galaxies in the distant universe to determine the position of the telescopes. The measurements will then be used by scientists studying the interplay between the Earth's interior, its crust, atmosphere, oceans and climate.

"The two antennas, each 12 metres in diameter, will work together in a network of similar telescopes currently being built and planned all over the world," says Robert Cumming, astronomer and communication officer at Onsala Space Observatory. "By observing galaxies billions of light years away, the twin telescope and its siblings around the world will be able to determine their positions on the Earth – and in space – with ten times better precision than is possible today.

The technology is known as geodetic VLBI (Very Long Baseline Interferometry).

Image montage showing what the twin telescope might look like on site at Onsala Space Observatory.

Image: Onsala Space Observatory/Västkustflyg. Antennas: NASA/GSFC/Elizabeth Zubritsky


Study of disease patterns and basic biological processes
Chalmers will also receive part of a third grant totalling SEK 38.7 million together with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Umeå University. The grant will be used for metabolite analysis equipment and for performing the analyses. The analyses help produce detailed information on all the small molecules involved in cell metabolism, which enables unique patterns to be discovered for a specific disease and promotes understanding of basic biological processes. Chalmers will share its research through Professor Jens Nielsen's advanced modelling group.


Facts about the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation
Over the past five years, the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation has disbursed SEK 4.8 billion to promote Swedish research and researchers. For this year's decision round, the foundation has earmarked SEK 352 million for research infrastructure. Of that amount, SEK 220 million will go to life science and medicine and SEK 88 million to nanoscience.
Read more about the foundation
For more information please contact:
Robert Cumming, Onsala Space Observatory, +46 31-772 55 00, +46 70-49 33 114, robert.cumming@chalmers.se
Gunnar Elgered, Department of Earth and Space Sciences, +46 31-772 55 65, +46 31-772 16 10, gunnar.elgered@chalmers.se
Peter Modh, Nanofabrication Laboratory, +46 31-772 16 05, peter.modh@chalmers.se

Published: Mon 23 Apr 2012. Modified: Wed 16 May 2012