Optofab facilities in Adelaide specialises in optical fibre, glass and functional optical materials production. The range of key services offered include:
- Soft glass fabrication
- Soft and hard glass and polymer preform extrusion
- Doped silica preform fabrication
- Soft glass fibre drawing, including microstructured fibres
- Silica fibre drawing, including microstructured fibres
- Surface functionalisation of glasses and fibres
- Scanning Near Field and Atomic Force Microscopy (SNOM/AFM)
- DMG DMU-20 Linear Ultrasonic, 5-axis milling machine with ultrasonic milling capability for machining of glass, ceramics and metals
- 3D printing - metals and ceramics
- MicroVu Vertex 312UC LWD Vision System Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM)
Glass and fibre fabrication
IPAS has a rare combination of glass science and fibre fabrication research facilities and expertise; which has enabled the realisation of fibres with unique and novel properties.
With expertise spanning the full spectrum of glass materials from silica to soft glasses, IPAS’ internationally leading team in glass extrusion has produced glass fibres with the broadest range of structures, unmatched anywhere else in the world.
5-Axis ultrasonic mill
New high-tech materials and the higher demands being placed on surface quality and precision have made the utilisation of new manufacturing technologies and machining methods indispensable.
DMU-20 Linear Ultrasonic Mill offers the perfect solution by combining precision and versatility at a level of efficiency that was inconceivable only a few years ago.
Specialised machining requirements are now available for soft, hard and advanced high-performance materials, which have been traditionally difficult to machine.
3D metal and ceramic printer
3D printing facilitates rapid prototyping and manufacturing, allowing for the fast availability of functional prototypes for product development, as well as on demand manufacturing for research projects and industry requirements.
3D printing complements traditional development and manufacturing methods, reducing the time and cost of designing metal or ceramic parts by printing them directly from digital input.
In September 2014, IPAS commissioned a Phenix PXM (3D Systems ProX 200) selective laser melting printer, which is now available to both researchers and industry for their 3D printing requirements.
Accessing the facilities
The Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF) seeks to enhance national and international collaborations and enable world-class research by providing access to specialised facilities.
Direct access to instrumentation is provided at an hourly rate or via a fee-for-service basis.
Research collaborations, contract R&D and consulting are also welcomed. Dedicated staff are on hand to discuss your requirements and assist accessing these leading-edge research capabilities.
Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF)
Established under the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy, the Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF) links 8 university-based nodes to provide researchers and industry with access to state-of-the-art fabrication facilities.
The capability provided by ANFF enables users to process hard materials (metals, composites and ceramics) and soft materials (polymers and polymer-biological moieties) and transform these into structures that have application in sensors, medical devices, nanophotonics and nanoelectronics.
The nodes, which are located across Australia, draw on existing infrastructure and expertise.
Each offers a specific area of expertise including advanced materials, nanoelectronics and photonics and bio nano applications.
Our commitment to providing a world-class user facility is underpinned by the sharing of best practice in service provision across the nodes.
The ANFF difference
Of course, opening the doors to world-class infrastructure is only the first step. Without dedicated staff to support access, your potential breakthrough research remains just an idea.
Each ANFF node has experts on hand to assist researchers, experienced in meeting user requirements and maintaining leading-edge instrumentation. In fact, over 60 technical staff positions are funded through the program.
Researchers are able to either work at the node under expert guidance, or to contract for specialised products to be fabricated at a reasonable cost.
Optofab node of ANFF
Optofab consists of four centres of facilities and expertise based at Macquarie University, Bandwidth Foundry International, University of Sydney and the University of Adelaide with the headquarters at Macquarie University.
Optofab offers specialist dedicated staff that are on hand to provide services and technical support to users where appropriate in microprocessing and microfabrication of fibre, planar and bulk optical materials which include silica, silicon, lithium niobate and polymers.
There are also a number of post-processing capabilities e.g. surface functionalisation and advanced characterisation. These techniques have been used to produce artefacts for use in telecoms, biotechnology, biomedicine, microelectronics, optical sensing, industrial processing, defence and security applications.
IPAS glass, fibre and surface characterisation facilities are an integral part of the Optofab node of the Australian National Fabrication Facility, a company established under the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy to provide nano and micro fabrication facilities for Australia's researchers and companies.
All users of ANFF equipment and products made using ANFF capabilities are asked to acknowledge ANFF in papers as follows "This work was performed in part at the OptoFab node of the Australian National Fabrication Facility utilizing Commonwealth and SA State Government funding."