The Advanced Technology Institute at the University of Surrey is continuing its pursuit of novel nanometre-scale materials and photonics technologies with the help of two recently awarded grants.Firstly, the National Physical Laboratory — the UK’s national measurement organization based in Teddington — provided £350,000 to the institute’s NanoElectronics Centre, extending a contract initiated in 2005. The funds are to be used to develop novel nanoscale fabrication techniques that are anticipated to enable the creation of new measurement standards and to help carry out existing measurement tasks. The contract, which has enabled the appointment of a Strategic Research Fellow to work jointly between Surrey and the national laboratory, supports the exploitation of advances in nanoscale probes for metrological applications.Funds granted by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council are promoting investigations of nanomaterials made with laser ablation. Courtesy of the University of Surrey.The Advanced Technology Institute also has been awarded about £870,000 from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council in Swindon for the purpose of investigating techniques to produce commercially important nanoscale structures. In collaboration with the School of Chemistry at the University of Bristol, the institute is studying ways to reliably and inexpensively produce carbon and ZnO nanoclusters, nanotubes and nanorods using high-power, short-pulsed laser-based deposition and annealing processes.To investigate the electrical and optical properties of the nanostructures, the Surrey researchers will focus on the laser-based synthesis techniques, while the scientists at Bristol will study the chemical processes that the structures undergo during laser synthesis.