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The University of Waterloo is breaking ground on a $160-million investment designed to propel the university and the country to the forefront of the science of the very small. The university is
beginning construction of the Mike and Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre (QNC).
The new centre will be home to not one but two forefront areas of science
and engineering - quantum information technology and nanotechnology. Quantum
deals with the atomic and sub-atomic levels, where the usual laws of physics
do not apply; things can, for instance, exist in two places at the same time.
Nanotechnology deals with the fabrication and behaviour of materials, devices
and systems in the size range of atoms or molecules, generally 100 nanometres
The genius and beauty of the quantum-nano concept lies in the unique
combination of strengths that result. The potential synergies produced by nano
and quantum researchers working side by side will be unique and
groundbreaking. No other quantum group in the world has a direct in-house
bridge to a major nanotech institute and no nanotech centre has the
opportunity to partner in developments at the leading edge of quantum
"This is an exciting time for science and the University of Waterloo,"
says UW Chancellor Mike Lazaridis. "In addition to housing state-of-the-art
research labs, this new building will provide a unique and cutting-edge
environment that will bring together the brightest minds in basic and applied
research to explore and advance quantum computing and nanotechnology."
The facility will be home to the Institute for Quantum Computing, the
Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology and UW's undergraduate program in
nanotechnology engineering. It will be able to accommodate the needs of up to
400 academics, equally split between the quantum and nano sides, with most
coming from the faculties of engineering, mathematics and science.
"The Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre will be the first research facility of
its kind in the world," says Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty. "That kind of
innovation is the cornerstone of the economy we are building in Ontario in the
The five-storey facility will be the most complex scientific building on
campus. Significant features include a 10,000-square-foot class 100 and 1000
clean room with state-of-the-art fabrication facilities for quantum and nano
devices, an advanced metrology suite, extensive teaching and research
laboratories, seminar rooms and offices.
Mechanical and electrical systems account for close to 50 per cent of the
construction costs. The building will feature low vibration, low
electromagnetic interference and radio frequency interference environments
employing advanced structural, mechanical and electrical designs.
"This is a significant investment, not just in the University of
Waterloo, but in Ontario and Canada," says David Johnston, president and
vice-chancellor of the university. "The provincial government, Mike and
Ophelia Lazaridis, and all other supporters of this project should be
commended for helping UW researchers excel at the forefront of quantum
information and nanotechnology."
The Government of Ontario is providing $50 million for construction of
QNC. Another $22 million is coming from a $50 million donation from the
Lazaridis family. The remaining funding involves federal funding, private
donations and university funds.
The Mike and Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre is scheduled to open
late in 2010 or early 2011.
About University of Waterloo
Waterloo has long been recognized as the most innovative university in Canada. We are committed to advancing learning and knowledge through teaching, research, and scholarship in our faculties, colleges, and schools.
For more information, please click here
Institute for Quantum Computing
(519) 888-4567 ext. 36704
Dr. Arthur Carty
Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology
(519) 888-4567 ext. 35371;
Martin Van Nierop
UW media relations
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