Students and scientists at two rival Irish universities have this week unveiled competing technologies in the field of science and design.
At Trinity College, Dublin, scientists have developed ‘major improvements’ to The TEAM Project (TEAM stands for Transmission Electron Aberration-corrected Microscope) led by Berkeley Lab in a collaboration with DOE’s Argonne and Oak Ridge National Laboratories, the Frederick Seitz Materials Laboratory of the University of Illinois, and two private companies specializing in electron microscopy, the FEI Company headquartered in Portland, Oregon, and CEOS of Heidelberg, Germany.
The enhanced microscope, delivered to the college in January, is thought capable of resolving the smallest known physical items in real colour detail, an act unprecedented and thought highly unlikely due to the wavelengths of light at very small distances. The microscope, to be named ‘Dionysus 2’ by the university, is thought capable of further refinement, with plans to resolve items at less than one half Angstrom (half a ten-billionth of a metre).
Team leader of the project is one Dáithi Mac Eidhin, materials physicist and Ard Rúnaí of the college’s Cumman Michael Noonan, the Fine Gael society on campus. He explained the point of the microscope and its importance.
“The development of carbon nanomaterials is a growth area in Irish industry; we see ourselves as a go-to research facility in the development of innovative new solutions to the complex imaging requirements of this incubator science. Fifty percent of the Microscope’s time will be allocated to materials science, covalent crystallography and complex nanopolymers. The other fifty percent will be allocated to the difficult task of finding Fianna Fáil logos on their fucking election posters.”
Across the city, at University College Dublin, a collaboration with the National College of Art and Design and Intel, the global microprocessor giant, is yielding results in the field of low-deposition semiconductor production. Sean Doolan, the team leader for the project, co-sponsored by the University’s Kevin Barry Cumman (Fianna Fáil), explained the problem.
“We all want electronics that are small and flexible; the race is on to find ways of producing tinier and tinier microprocessor dies, so we can sort of ‘print’ electonics onto surfaces which we can then fold, twist and package.. The tecnhnology we’re developing with NCAD and Intel makes it possible to do that, and more importantly, allows us to theoretically print Fianna Fáil logos so small the naked eye cannot see them, and even allow us to fold over election posters in such a way as to obscure the logo even from the most eagle eyed voter”.