Building a silicon quantum computer chip atom by atom

A University of Melbourne led team has perfected a technique for embedding single atoms in a silicon wafer one-by-one. Their technology offers the potential to make quantum computers using the same methods that have given us cheap and reliable conventional devices containing billions of transistors.

Until now, implanting atoms in silicon has been a haphazard process. A silicon chip gets showered with phosphorus which implant in a random pattern, like raindrops on a window.

However, this new research – published in Advanced Materials and assisted by ANFF-VIC and ANFF-NSW – demonstrates a far more predictable and repeatable method. “We embedded phosphorus ions, precisely counting each one, in a silicon substrate creating a qubit “chip”, which can then be used in lab experiments to test designs for large scale devices,” lead author Professor David Jamieson of The University of Melbourne explained.

The team drilled a tiny hole in an AFM cantilever, so that when it was showered with phosphorus atoms one would occasionally drop through the hole and embed in the silicon substrate.

The key, however, was knowing precisely when one atom – and no more than one – had become embedded in the substrate. Then the cantilever could move to the next precise position on the array.

The team discovered that the kinetic energy of the atom as it ploughs into the silicon crystal and dissipates its energy by friction can be exploited to make a tiny electronic ‘click’.

Read more about the approach on the University of Melbourne website.

Neo-Bionica Technology Voucher Program

This is a funding opportunity to develop new medical device concepts through the inaugural Neo-Bionica Technology Voucher Program.

The aim of the program is to support medical device innovators to take concepts to the next stage of development with the support of Neo-Bionica.

Researchers and clinicians with a medical device idea are invited to apply for a funding voucher to cover the cost of Neo-Bionica’s expertise and facilities.

The expression of interest phase is open until 1 November 2021. Following an assessment of feasibility and eligibility, those with suitable projects will be invited to apply for a voucher before 1 December 2021.

Apply today


Register today for the 2021 ANFF Showcase

Registrations are now open for ANFF’s Annual Research Showcase.

The event is a platform for engineers, researchers, and anyone working in R&D to hear about cutting-edge research enabled by nanofabrication.

You’ll engage with the hundreds of companies and research groups that form Australia’s nanofab community.

The Showcase will be held 9-10 November 2021 in a hybrid format, with talks being presented online and during in-person screenings in several states.

In-person screenings provide attendees with catering, networking opportunities, and activities or tours.

We hope to see you there, click here to view the flyer and program, or here to register.

ANFF hosted Heidelberg/Nano Vacuum webinar series

Heidelberg Instruments  and Nano Vacuum are partnering to provide a series of webinars on ANFF-relevant capabilities.

In these webinars, Heidelberg/Nano Vacuum’s application engineers will give insights into a range of technologies/processes, their key application examples and fabrication tips and tricks through five separate sessions.

The topic for the first session will be: Maskless Aligner – fast prototyping without photo masks (Speaker: Dr. Daniel Alexander Braun), held at 4pm AEST on 24 June 2021.

For more details about this session visit this link

View the flyer here: Heidelberg Instrument – Nano Vacuum Webinar – MLA Series Flyer

To register click here

The remaining sessions will be held as scheduled below:

  1. Wednesday 7th  July; Direct Write Lithography
  2. Thursday 29th, July; ULTRA (scale up technology)
  3. Thursday 12th, August; Multiphoton Optics (e.g., Nanoscribe)
  4. Thursday 26th, August;  Thermal Scanning Probe lithography (NanoFrazor).

For the updates and to register visit ANFF website

Chance to win $100 cash voucher for completing the ANFF 2020 User Survey

We are asking all users to share their thoughts and experiences with the Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF), it’s been a big year and we’d love to hear about how you thought we performed or where we could have improved.

Respondents to the ANFF 2020 User Survey are eligible to enter a prize draw for $100 cash voucher. If you would like to enter, please include your email address at the end of the survey.

We strive to provide high-quality services and would appreciate if you could take 5 minutes to complete this survey. Your responses will aid us in serving you better in the future.

The survey will close on the 1 February 2021.

View the 2020 ANFF User Survey here.

ANFF 2020 Casebook now available

Taken from

The ANFF 2020 Casebook is now available for download via the ANFF website, see here.

This edition, titled “Enabled by ANFF”, provides a snapshot of some of the most exciting R&D to have been carried out by our Community in the past year.  The stories have been split into three sections, covering fundamental research, commercialisation, and industry-changing projects.  ANFF is incredibly proud of our involvement in the amazing work our clients conduct across the country, and we hope you enjoy reading about these ground-breaking endeavours.

Click here to view or download the Casebook PDF, and email Tom Eddershaw, ANFF Marketing and Communications Officer, if you would like to contact any of the researchers and innovators behind the stories.

Former ANFF-VIC Council Chair, Dr Cathy Foley named Australia’s new Chief Scientist

The ANFF Victorian node wishes to congratulate Dr Cathy Foley, former Chair of the ANFF-VIC Council, for being named as Australia’s new Chief Scientist.

“… Dr Foley’s research is in the field of solid-state physics and its applications, combining quantum physics, material science and research translation. Her remarkable career achievements have allowed Dr Foley to advance all areas of STEM nationally and internationally. Dr Foley’s appointment as Chief Scientist follows her election as a Fellow of the Academy earlier this year, for her outstanding contributions to science.”

“Having been lucky enough to see Cathy’s work ethic and drive to support science first hand, I can see that she will make a fantastic Chief Scientist that will champion the Australian research. I share my deepest congratulations to Cathy on this thoroughly deserved appointment.” said ANFF-VIC Director, Prof Nico Voelcker.

Full story available at

Formal announcement from the Australian Academy of Science, here.

MCN features heavily in new ACOLA report

A recent report commissioned by Victoria’s Lead Scientist, Dr Amanda Caples and published (Sept 2020) by the Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA) identified MCN as being exemplary research infrastructure key to driving the creation of new Victorian research, jobs and investment.

More details and links to official ACOLA report here.



!!!EVENT POSTPONED!!! Enabled by ANFF Research Showcase: Call for Abstracts

ATTENTION: Due to escalating COVID-19 restrictions in Victoria, this EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED to 18-20th May 2021

ANFF is aiming to hold an event in Melbourne on 11 November 2020 that will highlight the exciting ANFF-enabled research being conducted across the country. This Showcase will be themed on the title Enabled by ANFF, and will complement separate staff- and industry-focused days.

The network is seeking speakers to present at this event across 6 research topics regarded as national priorities. These are:

Construction Science — New and novel technologies to enhance construction materials and buildings of the future.

MedTech — Developments in medical technologies that will help form Australia’s economic future.

Space — Furthering the technologies designed to aid space exploration, or to view Earth from high above.

Communications tech and Cybersecurity — An overview of research that is improving the transmission or security of communication and data.

Energy — Improving the energy outlook via new technologies or increasing the efficiencies of established ones.

Food and Agribusiness — Uses of technology to improve the quality of food , or to help produce it.

If you have conducted exceptional research that falls under any of these categories and would like to present it to the ANFF community, please complete an abstract submission form  and send it to Tom Eddershaw ( before 30 August 2020.

If you would like to attend the event, please register here. A draft program can be found on this page.

Please note: With the COVID-19 situation developing as it is, there are provisions to take this event online if it is unsafe for us to meet in person.

Appointment of MCN Infrastructure and OHS Manager

Michael Imsic has been announced as the Infrastructure and OHS Manager for ANFF-VIC’s flagship facility, the Melbourne Centre for Nanofabrication, commencing 25th June 2020.

Michael is joining the ANFF community from La Trobe’s Institute for Molecular Science (LIMS) where he has accumulated a wealth of experience managing scientific infrastructure for almost a decade.

His primary role will involve the management of the MCN’s core laboratory operations, facility infrastructure and OHS practice, as well as being vital to the planning, installation and commissioning of new equipment, capital works, refurbishments, and upgrades.

On his appointment, Michael said: “I am very excited to be joining MCN and the ANFF team, having been aware of the exciting things happening around research infrastructure through NCRIS for some time now. I look forward to what we will achieve in the coming years.”

Professor Nico Voelcker, ANFF-VIC Director, said: “It was a difficult task to find someone that suited this complex role which is pivotal to the future success of MCN and ANFF-Victoria. I am however, pleased to announce that we have found that someone, and that Michael is the perfect person to guide us as we implement our plans for growth. I believe I speak for the entire ANFF-VIC Node when I say, it’s great to have Michael on board.”

As a welcome addition to ANFF’s network of Facility Managers, Michael will also be working closely with his equivalents at ANFF’s other nodes to help ensure excellence across the network.

Dr Jane Fitzpatrick, ANFF COO, said: “We are delighted to welcome a new member to our national network, and look forward to introducing Michael to our group of nationwide Facility Managers. This group forms the backbone of the success of ANFF and Michael will be a great addition to our team.”

“We are at an exciting time of growth – Michael’s experience and fresh insight will be invaluable as we endeavour to expand our support of Australia’s research and engineering communities,” Jane added.