September 11, 2012
One amazing building, two great institutes: The world is about to change
It’s a curious building for curious people, supported by an entrepreneur driven by curiosity. The Mike & Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre on the main campus of the University of Waterloo is ready for its starring role — a gateway to a future shaped by incredibly small devices, advanced materials and powerful technologies based on the laws of quantum mechanics.
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It’s a curious building for curious people, supported by an entrepreneur driven by curiosity.
The Mike & Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre on the main campus of the University of Waterloo is ready for its starring role — a gateway to a future shaped by incredibly small devices, advanced materials and powerful technologies based on the laws of quantum mechanics.
The $160-million building houses the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) and the Waterloo Institute for Nanatechnology (WIN). The two institutes will share a cutting-edge fabrication facility, where they’ll engineer and test tiny-but-powerful devices and new materials that will transform technology.
“It adds tremendous capacity to the University of Waterloo’s global impact in research and discovery,’ says Feridun Hamdullahpur, uWaterloo president and vice-chancellor. “This is a state-of-the-art research facility, where scientists and students from many disciplines will work together towards the next big breakthroughs in science and technology.”
Over the past decade, Mike and Ophelia Lazaridis have donated more than $100 million to IQC. An anonymous donor contributed $25 million for nanotechnology.
Involved in vastly different fields, IQC and WIN share a common interest in the extremely tiny.
IQC seeks to harness the properties of particles in the quantum realm, such as photons and electrons, to improve communications, develop sensors of unprecedented precision and build ultra-powerful computers.
WIN explores the world of advanced materials and devices. These take advantage of the unique phenomena which predominate at the atomic scale to engineer new energy devices, targeted drug delivery systems and flexible electronics.
Both institutes will use a cleanroom/fabrication facility built on a thick, separate bed of concrete to shield it from vibration that could ruin experiments.
A six-storey, sun-lit atrium ties the parts together, and whiteboards dot the layout. However different their backgrounds, scientists will meet here, trade ideas and change the world.
- Ground-breaking: June 9, 2008
- Size: 285,000 square feet
- Cost: $160 million,
- Features: Vibration dampening: Cleanroom/fabrication facility won’t move more than a fraction of the width of a human hair. Fresh air: Cleanroom rated at 1,000 particles per cubic foot; some areas, 100 particles. Outdoor air can range in the millions.