User Facilities

Nanoscale Science Research Centers

The five NSRCs are DOE’s premier user centers for interdisciplinary research at the nanoscale, serving as the basis for a national program that encompasses new science, new tools, and new computing capabilities. Each center has particular expertise and capabilities in selected theme areas, such as synthesis and characterization of nanomaterials; catalysis; theory, modeling and simulation; electronic materials; nanoscale photonics; soft and biological materials; imaging and spectroscopy; and nanoscale integration. The centers are housed in custom-designed laboratory buildings near one or more other major BES facilities for x-ray, neutron, or electron scattering and large scale computation which complement and leverage the capabilities of the NSRCs. These laboratories contain clean rooms, nanofabrication resources, one-of-a-kind signature instruments, and other instruments not generally available except at major user facilities. NSRC resources and capabilities are available to the international academic, industry and government research community for successfully peer-reviewed research projects.

The Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN)External link at Brookhaven National LaboratoryExternal link is a premier user-oriented research center with the dual mission of: 1) providing open, state-of-the-art facilities, capabilities, and expertise for the nanoscience community; and 2) advancing and exploiting nanoscale materials and phenomena that help address the nation's energy challenges. CFN conducts energy-related research on electronic nanomaterials and soft and bio-nanomaterials, with emphasis on block co-polymer and DNA-mediated self-assembly of nanostructures. A third research thrust focuses on interface science and catalysis, particularly in-operando characterization of catalysts through ambient pressure x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and through aberration-corrected transmission electron microscopy and low energy electron microscopy. Synergies between CFN and BNL’s National Synchrotron Light Source II with its unprecedented brightness and resolution capabilities provide unique opportunities for transformational breakthroughs in nanoscience.

The Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies (CINT)External link is a premier user-oriented center jointly administered by Los Alamos National LaboratoryExternal link and Sandia National LaboratoriesExternal link. CINT’s vision is to become a world-leading resource for developing the scientific principles governing design, performance, and integration of nanostructured materi­als into the micro and macroscale worlds. This differentiating nanomaterials integration focus involves experimental and theoretical exploration of behavior over multiple spatial and temporal length scales, development of novel synthesis and processing approaches, and an understanding of emergent behavior and new performance regimes. Expertise and advanced capabilities are in: nanoscale electron­ics and mechanics; theory, simulation and modeling; soft, biological and composite nanomaterials; nano­photonics and optical nanomateri­als. This comprehensive portfolio of capabilities is complemented by CINT Discovery Platforms™, which are customized microfabricated structures and devices used for na­noscience research.

The Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM)External link at Argonne National LaboratoryExternal link is a premier user facility providing expertise, instrumentation, and infrastructure for interdisciplinary nanoscience and nanotechnology research. The CNM and the resources of the Electron Microscopy Center, a key resource for solving materials research problems using electron beam characterization methods, together form an integrated facility that is accessible to the scientific community. CNM supports basic research and development of advanced instrumentation that generates scientific insights, creates materials with unique functionality, and contributes significantly to energy-related research and development programs. The CNM/APS hard x-ray nanoprobe at Argonne's Advanced Photon Source (APS) beamline enables unprecedented views deep within nanomaterials. Materials in which the CNM specializes include: hybrid nanomaterials, oxide molecular beam epitaxy, nanocarbon materials, bio inspired hybrid materials, nanomechanical devices, and engineered nanoparticles.

The Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS)External link at Oak Ridge National LaboratoryExternal link is a premier research center focusing on the complexity of electronic, ionic, and molecular behavior at the nanoscale. As a multi-disciplinary user facility it provides the nanoscience community with access to expertise and equipment in synthesis, theory/modeling/simulation, and functional and structural imaging. The CNMS acts as a gateway for the nanoscience community to the neutron science and large-scale computing capabilities at ORNL. Distinguishing strengths include precision synthesis of macromolecular nanomaterials and inorganic nanostructures; characterization of electronic, optical, and chemical functionalities, band excitation scanning probe microscopy, He-ion and scanning transmission electron microscopies, and atom probe tomography. Theoretical tools and expertise address emer­gent behavior in nanoscale systems. State-of-the-art cleanroom capabilities emphasize the integration of functionality in hard and soft materials.

The Molecular Foundry (MF)External link at Lawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryExternal link provides world-wide academic, government, and industry users with state-of-the-art expertise and world-class instrumentation to enhance their research in synthesis, characterization, and theory of materials at the nanoscale. The Foundry's scientific themes emphasize combinatorial synthesis of nanomaterials, multimodal in situ imaging and spectroscopy, functional interfaces in nanomaterials, and “single digit” nanofabrication and assembly. Its seven technical facilities focus on the science of novel inorganic, organic, and biological nanostructured building block design and synthesis, their integration into complex functional assemblies; and the development and use of novel theory and characterization tools for understanding and control at the nanoscale. These capabilities are enhanced through close ties to collocated user facilities, including the Advanced Light Source and the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center.

For more information about this research area, please contact Dr. George Maracas.

Last modified: 10/27/2014 5:42:21 PM