WXXI Local Stories
Mon May 26, 2014
New System at RIT Will Help Create High-Tech Structures in Western New York
The Rochester Institute of Technology will soon have a system that will create high-tech components for fiber-optics and solar panels.
RIT Associate Professor of Physics Seth Hubbard explains the METAL-ORGANIC-VAPOR-PHASE-EPITAXY system—or M-O-V-P-E system—a system that grows tiny crystals for use in modern technology.
“It's a system, basically, that grows thin films of crystals at the nano scale. It uses metal organics, so that's part of the name. Epitaxy refers to growth of crystals, or repetition of an ordered crystalline structure,” says Hubbard.
Hubbard says investment in the system will increase the ability of RIT researchers, instructors, and private companies in Western New York to move forward with high tech programs without having to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to have components imported from out-of-state.
The M-O-V-P-E system creates crystals used in a number of modern technologies.
“It all begins with this tool. It's sort of the heart of it. We didn't have this capability before,” says Hubbard. “So, it's a huge boost for RIT to be able to do this ourselves verses having to rely on outside sources for the material.”
Hubbard says researchers in his department have been spending about 100 thousand dollars a year to acquire these materials from a lab in Cleveland, Ohio.
The total cost of the project is just over 1-point-5 million dollars.