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Equipment worth R23 million to carry out research at nanometer level
2009-05-28

The Department of Physics at the University of the Free State (UFS) has just received equipment to the value of R23 million that will be utilised for research at nanometer level.

By purchasing the NanoSAM and VersaProbe XPS systems, the UFS also became the only university in Africa that has both these instruments at its disposal.

This also places the UFS at the forefront of surface characterisation at nanometer scale.

Prof. Hendrik Swart, Head of the UFS’s Department of Physics, described the acquisition of this research apparatus as an amazing event for the department. Prof. Swart said this meant that the department would now become a national facility for research on surface characterisation, and that this would also help to ensure that the department’s publication contributions would be included in higher-impact publications.

According to Prof. Swart, this apparatus would not only be valuable for fundamental research on nanophosphors and segregation, but in particular would also assist in the industrial development of better catalysts to synthesise petrol and chemicals from gas or coal supplies. Prof. Swart continued to say that Sasol was one of the industries that would benefit from this, and that Prof. Jannie Swarts from Chemistry was closely involved in the latter.

The equipment was purchased with funds donated by the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, the University, the National Research Council and Sasol. Technicians from the manufacturing company are currently visiting the department to assist with the installation and to train staff.

Media Release:
Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt.stg@ufs.ac.za
28 May 2009

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