e2v and the University of Nottingham, UK, have formed a new partnership in the area of microwave semiconductor devices, which aims to drive forward the research and manufacturing of cutting-edge electronics. The aim of the collaboration is to develop and manufacture advanced semiconductor devices for use in microwave and terahertz applications.

Funding of £1 M from e2v will see a new purpose-built clean room built at the School of Physics and Astronomy on University Park, housing the e2v semiconductor fabrication facility. The company's engineers will also have access to the existing nano-fabrication facilities within the school, as well as the wide range of advanced materials characterization instruments available on campus. Physicists at Nottingham will also have access to the e2v fabrication tools.

This initiative will enable close collaboration with researchers in the School of Physics and Astronomy and help e2v to develop the next generation of microwave electronic devices. An example of this is a range of devices known as PIN diodes, which are used in sensitive microwave receiver systems. The collaboration's initial focus will be to develop new devices which have a much faster response time than currently available and can work over wider frequency ranges.

RF/microwave frequency sources used in radar imaging, as well as mixers and detectors used in the receive chain, are also high on the agenda for the collaboration. In addition, the scope of work on novel devices will extend to sub-millimetre wave and beyond, where there is a strong interest in devices for high-resolution imagers which can 'see' through other materials such as clothing or buildings.

Nigel Priestley, Chief Engineer at e2v, said, "This is an excellent example of industry and academia making the decision to collaborate at both the research level and device realisation level. We will now be able to harness specialised semiconductor knowledge from both organisations and work together to provide new exciting solutions for the e2v business and customers."