UCL News


Leading materials scientist appointed to new nanotech Chair

4 December 2006

The effective transfer of knowledge between academic and commercial organisations will be enhanced following the creation of the Sumitomo/STS Chair of Nanotechnology at the London Centre for Nanotechnology and the UCL Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering.

Sponsored by Surface Technology Systems plc (STS) and Sumitomo Precision Products Co., Ltd (SPP), Professor Arokia Nathan has been appointment as the first holder.

Professor Nathan's career has spanned 27 years and he has held significant posts in both academia and industry. He has extensive experience in device physics, modelling, materials processing and systems integration. His present research interests lie in large area electronics, sensors, and MEMS on non-conventional substrates, including low temperature deposition processes, flexible materials, plastics, glass, and stainless steel, using thin film silicon, organic materials, including nano-composites.

Having been awarded a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Alberta, Canada, in 1988, Professor Nathan went on to join LSI Logic Corp., Santa Clara, CA where he worked on advanced multi-chip packaging techniques and related issues. Subsequently, he was at the Institute of Quantum Electronics, ETH Zürich, Switzerland. In 1989, he joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Waterloo. In 1995, he was a Visiting Professor at the Physical Electronics Laboratory, ETH Zürich. In 1997 he held the DALSA/NSERC industrial research chair in sensor technology, and was a recipient of the 2001 Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council E.W.R. Steacie Fellowship.

Professor Nathan has published extensively in the field of sensor technology and CAD, and thin film transistor electronics, and has over 30 patents filed/awarded. Applications currently being developed by Professor Nathan include the creation of plastic-based X-ray digital imaging displays for use by medical staff; flexible film-like solar cells that may be wrapped around buildings; fast transistors on cost-effective substrates that can lead to very economical consumer goods tagging and the use of polyester as a substrate leading to wearable technologies.

His new role will entail conducting research and teaching as well as further improving the working relationship between UCL and STS.

Director of the LCN Professor Gabriel Aeppli, says: "Professor Nathan will further enhance LCN delivery across its three themed areas of healthcare, information technology, and energy/environment. The corporate support for his chair is a clear endorsement of the LCN from the industrial sector."

Dr Leslie Lea, CTO of STS, explained, "We believe this is a very positive step in improving the collaboration between academia and industry, and strengthening our relationship with LCN. We very much look forward to working with Professor Nathan at the forefront of nanotechnology."

UCL Provost Professor Malcolm Grant added: "This is an exciting venture in a rapidly changing and developing market. I believe that the expertise that the LCN is able to bring together from the areas of nanotechnology, electronics, engineering and biomedicine is a rare blend that offers great prospects for developing partnerships with world leading technology companies."

For additional information on Professor Nathan's career, please visit:


Notes to editors

1. For further information, please contact:

Judith H Moore, UCL Media Relations Manager, Tel: +44 (0) 20 7679 7678, Mobile: +44 (0)77333 075 96, Email: judith.moore@ucl.ac.uk

Luís Carrasqueiro, London Centre for Nanotechnology Deputy Director, Business, Tel +44 (0)20 7679 0574 

2. High resolution images available on request.