About Us

The Molecular Foundry's Cleanroom'

The Nanoscale Science Research Center (NSRC) Program operates a system of five coordinated Centers strategically located in DOE national laboratories across the United States. Each Center contains laboratories for synthesis and nanofabrication, one-of-a-kind signature instruments, a suite of necessary supporting instrumentation, and theory/modeling/simulation expertise to enable NSRC users to conduct comprehensive high-impact nanoscience research.

Prospective users are encouraged to explore the Capability page on this website, the specialties table and the searchable capability database to learn more about the NSRC capabilities. In addition to unique and extensive capabilities, each Center has differentiating scientific strengths reflected in their Science Themes and Thrusts. Together, the NSRCs span an impressive breadth of nanoscience and thereby enable the prospective user to be matched with the right capabilities and expertise for their project.

The NSRC program is open to all interested potential users without regard to nationality or institutional affiliation. Allocation of facility resources is determined by merit review of the proposed work. User fees are not charged for non-proprietary work if the user intends to publish the research results in the open literature. Full cost recovery is required for proprietary work. Once a user proposal is accepted, the NSRC facility provides the training and support for the user to conduct the approved project safely and efficiently.

NSRC Arrow and Circle diagram

As with all scientific research, the nanoscience community is highly interactive and diverse. Each NSRC supports a formal user organization to represent the users, identify emerging opportunities, encourage knowledge dissemination and stimulate collaborations.

This website provides general information about the NSRC program, a sample of current technical highlights, an introduction to the capabilities and expertise available to researchers Nationwide, general information about becoming a user, and demographic information about current and recent NSRC users Nationwide. We welcome your inquires and encourage you to contact the NSRC leadership with your questions and comments.

The Nanoscale Science Research Centers, are strategically located in national laboratories across the U.S. that also have other major nanoscience-related user facilities such as neutron or synchrotron light sources.

Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM)

at Argonne National Laboratory

Center for Nanoscale Materials

The Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM) merges the expertise of preeminent researchers together with instrumentation and infrastructure for user-oriented interdisciplinary nanoscience and nanotechnology research that is accessible to the scientific community at large. The CNM is at the forefront of discovery science addressing national grand challenges encompassing energy, information, materials and the environment. The scientific strategy of the CNM is consolidated under cross-cutting and interdependent scientific themes which collectively aim at the discovery and hierarchical integration of materials across different length scales at the extremes of temporal, spatial and energy resolutions. The themes are: Quantum materials and phenomena, Manipulating nanoscale interactions, and Synthesis of nano-architectures for energy, information and functionality. Embedded within these themes and supporting them are the vector capabilities of X-ray microscopy, electron microscopy and computational materials science. Argonne's Advanced Photon Source (APS) plays a key role in shared capabilities such as the CNM/APS hard x-ray nanoprobe beamline, which allows for unprecedented views deep within nanomaterials, and synchrotron x-ray scanning tunneling microscopy.

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Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN)

Brookhaven National Laboratory Center for Functional Nanomaterials

CFN 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.

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The Molecular Foundry

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory The Molecular Foundry

The Molecular Foundry provides users with instruments, techniques, and expertise to enhance their research in the synthesis, characterization, and theory of nanostructures. Its research themes emphasize combinatorial synthesis of nanomaterials, multimodal in situ imaging and spectroscopy, interfaces in nanomaterials, “single digit” nanofabrication, and high-resolution electron scattering. The Foundry’s seven facilities provide synthesis of novel inorganic, organic and biological nanostructured building blocks, measurement and simulation of their properties, and their integration into complex assemblies. Utilization of these capabilities by users is enhanced through close ties to the other DOE user facilities at LBNL, which include the Advanced Light Source (ALS) and the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC).

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Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS)

Oak Ridge National Laboratory Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences

The CNMS combines a vibrant research effort to understand and control the complexity of electronic, ionic, and molecular behavior at the nanoscale with a multi-disciplinary user environment. The work closely ties to neutron science capabilities at ORNL and integrates synthesis science, theory/modeling/simulation, and advanced approaches for functional and structural imaging. Distinguishing capabilities include precision synthesis of macromolecular nanomaterials and inorganic nanostructures; band excitation scanning probe microscopy, He-ion and scanning transmission electron microscopies, atom probe and electron tomographies. Theoretical tools and expertise address emergent behavior in nanoscale systems. Nanofabrication capabilities include a wide range of tools with emphasis on integrating functionality in hard and soft materials.

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Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies (CINT)

Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies

CINT’s vision is to become a world leader in nanoscale science by developing the scientific principles that govern the design, performance, and integration of nanoscale materials. The distinguishing characteristic of CINT is its emphasis on exploring the path from scientific discovery to the integration of nanostructures into the micro and macro worlds. This pathway involves the experimental and theoretical exploration of behavior, the development of a wide variety of synthesis and processing approaches, and an understanding of new performance regimes, testing design, and integration of nanoscale materials and structures. Integration itself is key to the exploitation of nanomaterials, and the scientific challenges that it poses are at the heart of CINT’s mission.

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