DUBLIN, Ireland, March 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Lucent Technologies' (NYSE: LU) Bell Labs today announced the launch of a new research project that aims to use nano-textured surfaces to solve the extreme thermal management challenges of advanced electronic and photonic systems. The team will be spearheaded by researchers from Bell Labs' new research laboratory in Blanchardstown, Dublin, who, in collaboration with three Irish universities and Bell Labs researchers in Murray Hill, N.J., will use "nanograss," a Bell Labs-engineered surface that contains billions of tiny silicon posts, to study the effectiveness of transferring heat from silicon surfaces to liquid coolants. The results from these experiments could lead to important breakthroughs in cost-effective communications devices and networks. Higher processing speeds from liquid-cooled devices will support more densely packed circuits in communication devices, which could allow communication service providers to operate lower-cost broadband services. "Key to the success of these collaborations is Bell Labs' global presence and the free exchange of ideas between facilities and borders," said Lou Manzione, executive director, Bell Labs Centre in Ireland. "Multi-disciplinary research and development is one of Bell Labs' greatest strengths and we are pleased to be working with several of Ireland's most respected universities on this exciting project." "Nanograss", discovered by Bell Labs researchers last year, provides a method to control the behavior of tiny drops of liquid using silicon surfaces that resemble a lawn of evenly cut grass with "blades" that are each only a few nanometers in size -- 30 times thinner than a red blood cell. Each post is covered with a non-stick, water-repellant surface material similar to Teflon, which allows fluids to move across the top of the posts without wetting the surface below. However, if a small amount of electrical current is applied, the droplets will sink down and wet the surface. Researchers at the University of Limerick will use nanograss to study the basic physics of fluid flow and heat transfer in systems across super-hydrophobic surfaces on the nano scale. (A nanometer is one billionth of a meter, roughly 100,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair.) Nanograss also increases effective area of a flat silicon surface by a factor of ten, thereby increasing the opportunities to transfer heat from the silicon a liquid. Researchers at Trinity College in Dublin and researchers at the Bell Labs Centre in Ireland will conduct a fundamental study of this phenomenon. Researchers at the Tyndall Institute of University College Cork will perform advanced modeling and optimization of microchannels, as well as research low cost fabrication processes to ensure that the result is cost-effective for use in low cost or even consumer-grade products. "True to the mission of Bell Labs' new research center in Ireland, this strategic collaboration will accelerate the incorporation of fundamental research into the telecommunications supply chain," said Manzione. About the Bell Labs centre in Ireland The Bell Labs centre in Dublin will account for more than euro 43 million of the investments being made jointly by Bell Labs and IDA Ireland. It acts as a corporate research headquarters that carries out its own programme of R&D and has a corporate mandate as a centre-of-excellence for value-chain-driven research. It researches and delivers in-depth knowledge and advanced technologies for the development of new product designs and manufacturing strategies for Lucent Technologies, a global leader in communications systems, services and software. The centre concentrates on several strategic areas -- the creation of highly configurable hardware and software platforms for quicker time-to-market, supply chain flexibility and lowered development costs; manufacturing and engineering research in photonics, electronics and wireless technologies and systems; and research on advanced value-chain modelling and optimisation for next generation manufacturing operations. About Bell Labs and Lucent Technologies Bell Labs is the leading source of new communications technologies. It has generated more than 30,000 patents since 1925 and has played a pivotal role in inventing or perfecting key communications technologies, including transistors, digital networking and signal processing, lasers and fiber-optic communications systems, communications satellites, cellular telephony, electronic switching of calls, touch-tone dialing, and modems. Bell Labs scientists have received six Nobel Prizes in Physics, nine U.S. National Medals of Science and eight U.S. National Medals of Technology(R). For more information about Bell Labs, visit its Web site at http://www.bell-labs.com. Lucent Technologies designs and delivers the systems, services and software that drive next-generation communications networks. Backed by Bell Labs research and development, Lucent uses its strengths in mobility, optical, software, data and voice networking technologies, as well as services, to create new revenue-generating opportunities for its customers, while enabling them to quickly deploy and better manage their networks. Lucent's customer base includes communications service providers, governments and enterprises worldwide. For more information on Lucent Technologies, which has headquarters in Murray Hill, N.J., USA, visit http://www.lucent.com.
SOURCE Lucent Technologies