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N°29 I quarterly I APRIL 2013 Innovation | 17 Toward Mass-Produced Nano-Components Contact Information: LPN, Marcoussis. Pascale Senellart > pascale.senellart@lpn.cnrs.fr BY mathieu grousson w If nanotechnology is to break free one day from the confines of fundamental research laboratories, it could partly be down to Pascale Senellart of the LPN.1 In collaboration with the company attocube, she has developed a technique called “in-situ  lithography.” This process allows nano-objects to be inserted with great precision into minuscule components, which can thus be manufactured at a large scale and in a perfectly reproducible manner. Inserting nano-objects in components is a delicate process. Until now, obtaining a component was a matter of chance since interesting nano-objects are scattered randomly over the surface of a wafer. With the in-situ lithography technique, the problem is solved through a two-step process. During the first step, the nano-object exhibiting the most suitable characteristics is identified—through light emission— among a series of other specimens obtained by crystalline growth. The nano-component is then designed by laser lithography around the nanoobject selected. “By the end of 2007, I was convinced the new technique would work, even if some people thought it was a mad idea,” recalls Senellart. A year later, the process was demonstrated in the laboratory for the assembly of a “quantum dot,” a component used in particular in quantum computing research. This success led to a partnership between CNRS and attocube to develop a machine that exploits the process invented at the LPN. “The machine was operational in our lab towards the end of 2010,” explains Senellart. “Since then, we have demonstrated that its possibilities far exceed what we had shown in 2008. We are the only ones capable of etching one hundred or so nano-components in one go,” she adds. The device is now featured in the catalogue of attocube, which sees it as the future of nanolithography. While its first target is the scientific market, there is little doubt that this machine will play an important role in the dissemination of nanotechnology across a host of industries. 01. Laboratoire de photonique et de nanostructures (CNRS). attocube li thographic. fo rmin g. Process of producing nano-objects by etching in a resist pattern that has been previously delineated. © P. Senelar t/LPN-CNRS Spikenet Technology BY Frédéric Dessort w Spikenet Technology develops specialized software for identifying shapes in images and videos, inspired by the way the human brain functions. Its development stems from research at the CerCo laboratory.1 “At the end of the 1990s, we deciphered the functioning of the neural circuits that process visual images in the brain,” explains CerCo senior researcher Simon Thorpe. “An algorithm was then developed to formalize these mechanisms.” In 1999, Thorpe joined forces with two other researchers, Rufin VanRullen and Arnaud Delorme, to found Spikenet Technology in Toulouse. Today, this innovative and successful SME is finding many applications for its products, from facial recognition to intrusion detection (people, objects, etc.) on video surveillance footage (also known as CCTV : closed-circuit television). Yet this was not a foregone conclusion: the company went through periods of uncertainty, and invested heavily in R&D. The turning point was 2012, when “important players like airports and police de- Marcoussis partments started looking at our technology,” says Spikenet CEO Hung Do-Duy. For those clients, the company has created two intelligent video surveillance systems. One of them, the Odin platform, was co-developed with the French Interior Ministry. It was designed to identify criminals, stolen cars, and other subjects in police videos. As part of the company’s marketing efforts, Spikenet’s CEO makes regular trips to China. “We are about to finalize a contract with the police departments of several provinces to cover their urban video surveillance networks,” he explains. 01. Centre de recherche cerveau et cognition (CNRS / Université Paul Sabatier). Contact information: CerCo, Toulouse. Simon Thorpe > simon.thorpe@cerco.ups-tlse.fr Spikenet Technology, Ramonville-Saint-Agne. Hung Do-Duy > hung.doduy@spikenet-technology.com © SPIKENET TECHNOLOGY Sharp-Eyed Software q The discovery that spawned Spikenet Technology has made it possible to recognize faces in video recordings. q Scanning electron microscope measurement of components manufactured using the in-situ lithography technique. Toulouse Ramonville-Saint-Agne


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