Quality Magazine

University of Notre Dame College of Engineering Finds a Partner in Olympus

January 11, 2011

CENTER VALLEY, PA-The University of Notre Dame has named Olympus a key partner for its prestigious College of Engineering. The college recently constructed a new 160,000-square-foot, $70 million structure called Stinson-Remick Hall, which houses a nanotechnology research center, the University’s new Energy Center, an undergraduate interdisciplinary learning center and a 9,000-square-foot semiconductor processing and device fabrication clean room. Olympus will equip the device fabrication clean room of Stinson-Remick Hall and provide researchers at the College of Engineering with advanced microscopes, camera equipment and software to meet a variety of optical imaging needs.

According to Robert Dunn, the managing director for the facility, engineers using Stinson-Remick Hall have a two-fold mission: conducting leading-edge research and working with students to educate future engineers. “Notre Dame is doing advanced work in semiconductor research, and the Olympus tools, along with our relationship with Olympus, are helping us meet both of these vitally important goals,” he says. Notre Dame boasts a long history of engineering developments in a variety of fields from the construction of the first hand-driven wind tunnel in America to the successful transmission of one of the first wireless messages in the country.

The digital imaging and analysis solutions provided by Olympus will make it possible for researchers to perform metrology tasks and then share images acquired on the optical tools. The instruments include the flagship Lext OLS4000 laser scanning confocal 3-D measuring microscope. The world’s first laser-based, dual-confocal system optimized to operate at 405 nanometers, the system allows researchers, engineers and technicians to measure and image angles up to 85 degrees accurately. It also offers what may be the first-ever accuracy and repeatability guarantee provided by an industrial confocal system manufacturer.

The University of Notre Dame also has installed semiconductor inspection microscopes from Olympus. These include two MX51 inspection microscopes. One of the microscopes is configured for critical near-infrared observation through silicon for nondestructive viewing of structures deep inside semiconductor circuit wafers. In addition, an MX61 wafer inspection microscope configured for general optical inspection will be available for use.

“We are pleased to partner with the University of Notre Dame’s prestigious College of Engineering to help equip the landmark Stinson-Remick facility,” says Matt Smith, director of sales and marketing for Olympus America Inc.’s Scientific Equipment Group-Industrial Microscopes. “Nanotechnology, energy development and semiconductor engineering are among the most challenging and important areas of development for our nation’s future, and Notre Dame boasts a long history of ground-breaking developments in engineering.”

“Our new engineering building is a landmark for studies that will help create new possibilities for American industry and society,” says Gary H. Bernstein, Frank M. Freimann Professor of Electrical Engineering and a key technical coordinator involved in developing the facility and selecting tools. “Partnerships like the one we have with Olympus are very important to the facility’s future.”