04 Nov 2015   |   Network Updates   |   Update from KU Leuven
These updates are republished press releases and communications from members of the Science|Business Network

KU Leuven inaugurates chemistry and nanotech research facilities

On 28 October, KU Leuven inaugurated two brand new research facilities: Leuven Chem&Tech and Leuven NanoCentre.

With vibration-free floors and protection against radiomagnetic waves, among other things, the buildings are specifically tailored to the needs of researchers in the fields of chemistry, chemical engineering technology, and nanotechnology.

KU Leuven invested 50 million euros in the construction of the two research facilities and another 25 million euros in state-of-the-art technological equipment. More than 500 researchers will set to work in over 18,000 m² of research space. By bringing researchers from seven departments under one roof, the university stimulates cross-disciplinary research.

Leuven Chem&Tech

The Leuven Chem&Tech building brings together scientists and engineers from the fields of chemistry and chemical engineering technology. Together, they will conduct research into, for instance, the use of renewable materials and the development of environmentally-friendly production processes. The new building houses researchers who span the entire chain of knowledge, from fundamental to applied research.

Safety was a major concern for the design of the building, as the researchers handle potentially hazardous substances. A state-of-the-art ventilation system and other measures guarantee the researchers’ safety.

Leuven Chem&Tech measures 75 by 35 metres, is five floors high – parking space not included – and includes 11,200 m² of research space.

Leuven NanoCentre

In the NanoCentre, scientists’ projects include the development of flexible sensors and displays for textile as well as micro-scaled 'energy harvesters' for clothes, shoes, or cell phones that capture and store the energy that is released when you move.

To facilitate ground-breaking research in this field, KU Leuven invested in a building with a cleanroom and vibration-free floors. Dozens of foundation piles, up to 17 metres deep in the ground, filter out all vibrations from the surroundings. After all, the smallest particle or the vibration of a passing truck can cause enough damage to make nano-level research impossible.

Leuven NanoCentre brings together researchers from different disciplines. This cross-pollination enables the researchers to venture into new scientific territory. Possibilities include improving the quality of our food chain or developing jelly-like surgical implants that can grow along with the nervous system.

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