Lucent Technologies' Bell Labs Heads Research to Use Nanograss in Advanced Electronic and Photonic Systems

Mar 07, 2005, 00:00 ET from Lucent Technologies

    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
     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
     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
     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
     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

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