Spin-off makes electronics with high radiation resistance

Summary

Magics Instruments of Mol has developed microchips that last 1,000 times longer in high radiation environments like space and nuclear facilities

Space applications

The Flemish start-up Magics Instruments has developed an advanced technology with which electronic devices can keep functioning under exceptionally high radiation such as in space or in a nuclear environment. Magics Instruments in Mol, Antwerp province, is a spin-off of the University of Leuven (KU Leuven) and the Study Centre for Nuclear Energy (SCK-CEN).

Exposure to radiation reduces the lifespan and reliability of electronics. Magics Instruments has created microchips that keep functioning in high radiation environments 1,000 times longer than the best technology currently available. The chips offer new possibilities for use during space missions and in the nuclear sector.

“With our chips, robots and inspection tools in nuclear plants could carry out work that would be life-threatening for people,” explained CEO Jens Verbeeck in a statement. “Our technology could also provide an enormous added value during nuclear disasters like the one in Fukushima.”

Magics Instruments would like to eventually provide solutions for specific nuclear applications like the management of nuclear waste and the dismantling of nuclear plants. The company was founded last October and builds on research carried out over seven years at KU Leuven and SCK-CEN. Founders Verbeeck and Ying Cao, KU Leuven, SCK-CEN and the Gemma Frisius Fonds invested a total of €350,000 to launch the company.

University of Leuven

Established almost six centuries ago, the University of Leuven (KU Leuven) is one of the oldest universities in the Low Countries. International rankings consistently place it among the best universities in Europe.
Papal founding - It was founded as a Catholic university by Pope Martin V in 1425.
Bright minds - Over the centuries, it attracted famous scholars like Justus Lipsius, Andreas Vesalius, Desiderius Erasmus and Gerard Mercator.
Micro and nano - KU Leuven is home to the Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre (imec), a world-class research centre in micro- and nanoelectronics.
11 544

staff members in 2013

40 069

students in 2014-2015 academic year

365

million euros in annual research budget