Scientists and engineers from UK universities will be allowed free use of the University of Bath's nanotechnology facilities to assist their research, the university announced this week. The David Bullett Nanofabrication Facility will be set aside for an average of one day a week to allow researchers from other universities to use the electron beam (e-beam) lithography facility and its advanced e-beam lithography system, a Hitachi S-4300 scanning electron microscope and Raith ElphyPlus Professional lithography attachment. E-beam lithography is a specialized technique for creating the extremely fine patterns required, for instance, by the electronics industry for integrated circuits. Applications for e-beam lithography cover a wide range of new nanoscale electronic and mechanical structures, such as transistors based on single organic molecules, photonic devices and solar cells, and may extend into the physical, biological and life sciences. Supporting processes, including thin-film deposition and wet and dry etching, will also be made available, with assistance provided by the university. The program, which began earlier this month, has been funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the main UK government agency for funding research and training in engineering and the physical sciences, which has paid for 20 percent of the facility's time for up to four years and will pay researchers' travel expenses.