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Nanotechnology Centers and Facilities

Penn State nanotechnology research centers and facilities.

Center for Electro-Optics Research
Center interests include optical computing, optical pattern recognition, neural networks, nonlinear optics, nonlinear materials (liquid crystals and semiconductors), and devices.
Center for Molecular Nanofabrication and Devices
The Center for Molecular Nanofabrication and Devices (CMND) was established to advance the fundamental understanding of electronically and mechanically functional molecules coupled to larger-scale structures. To reach these goals, the Center blends nanolithography with selective chemical functionalization, molecular films, self-assembly, and molecular motor-driven assembly to create tailored structures that force the convergence of molecular and e-beam-accessible length-scales in the critical range of 1 to 10 nanometers. This is the size range wherein physics, chemistry, electrical engineering, materials science, and biology converge.
Center for NanoCellulosics
The mission is to bring nanoscale science and engineering to research and education in forest resources and the forest products industry. Developments in nanotechnology are affording scientists new methods of engineering and characterizing materials and processes on the molecular scale. These new capabilities will provide the basis for developing new products and manufacturing processes which will shape the future of renewable materials and energy.
Center for Nanoscale Science
The Center for Nanoscale Science is a National Science Foundation-supported Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC). An interdisciplinary team of researchers has been assembled to capitalize on recent advances in the synthesis of novel ordered porous hosts to understand the role of confinement on the behavior of selected materials, particularly the collective properties that emerge when the characteristic length-scale of an infiltrant property matches the pore size.
Center for Nanotechnology Education and Utilization
The CNEU is dedicated to research, development, and education across all aspects of micro- and nanotechnology. Center resources are focused on addressing the incorporation of nanotechnology into secondary education, into post-secondary education, and into industry applications
Center for Thin Film Devices
The Center's research focuses on solid state materials and processes. Primary research topics are organic semiconductors, molecular electronics, MEMS and a-Si devices.
Electro-Optics Center
The EOC was established as an enabler of electro-optics manufacturing technology. Established and managed by Penn State under an ONR ManTech initiative, the EOC exists to serve the need for electro-optics manufacturing technology through development and execution of technical programs, workforce development at all levels, and transition of technology to production. The EOC has formed an alliance of industry, academic and professional organizations, and government resources, called the Electro-Optics Alliance, which helps the EOC to integrate technologies and capabilities to solve electro-optic manufacturing issues.
Engineering Nanostructure Characterization Center
The Engineering Nanostructure Characterization Center's mission is to teach and conduct research in materials characterization, wave mechanics, and nondestructive evaluation, with an emphasis on nanotechnology.
Glass Surfaces, Interfaces, and Coatings Research
The Penn State Site aims to advance the fundamental understanding of glass surfaces relevant to their manufacture, treatment or coating, and commercial applications. Our team of faculty and graduate student researchers work with a broad spectrum of consumer, specialty, and optical glass manufacturers to improve the performance of existing products and processes, and to develop new applications for glass. Surface characterization in response to manufacture or processing, cleaning and finishing, polymer adsorption and adhesion, thin film deposition and coatings, and strength are our primary areas of expertise at the Penn State Site.
Keck Smart Materials Integration Lab
The lab enables the integration of devices with electrical, mechanical and optical functions, and is able to characterize the resulting materials and devices. The facilities include a clean room, rapid prototyping, near field optical microscopy, enhanced high and low frequency dielectric spectroscopy, tape casting, and lamination. These facilities enhance our ability to co-process individual passive components and will allow the building of novel miniature sensors, optical components and tiny actuators.
Materials Characterization Laboratory
MCL is a full-service analytical laboratory staffed by full-time professionals, which serves the research community at Penn State by offering a range of state-of-the-art analytical techniques. Services include: microscopy, surface and thin film analysis, trace chemical analysis, structural determination and various physical property measurements. MCL offers complete sample preparation, analysis, interpretation, and report writing services. All of the analytical tools are available for hands-on use by students and faculty; training is provided in one-credit courses, or is available by appointment.
Materials Research Institute
The Institute was established to coordinate activities and provide leadership for interdisciplinary materials research throughout the University. Research topics encompass metals, ceramics, glass, polymers, composites, semiconductors and microelectronics, carbon materials, thin films and coatings, biomaterials, hard materials, porous materials, and the fundamental science necessary to understand their properties and to engineer useful products.
Materials Simulation Center
The Center for Materials Simulation brings state-of-the-art atomic-scale materials modeling techniques to graduate students and researchers, both experimentalists and theorists, who are engaged in materials research. Example applications that can be enhanced through simulation include the design of high-performance alloys, evaluation of precursors for epitaxial growth, calculation of electronic and structural properties of nanoscale materials, and simulations of materials processing. The Center is open to the entire materials community and provides professional support staff.
Mechanical Testing Laboratory
The Goal of the MTL is to provide a well maintained, user friendly testing facility allowing mechanical evaluation of materials on length scales from nanometers to meters. Equipment is on hand to measure: (1) Nanomechanical Behavior (nanoscale elements such as molecules, cells, NEMS), (2) Micromechanical Behavior (e.g., MEMS, thin films, and coatings, and (3) Mechanical Behavior (bulk materials - ceramics, metals, polymers, composites).
Nanofabrication Laboratory
The Penn State Nanofabrication Lab (Nanofab) is a completely open access national NNIN user facility containing over $32 million dollars of state-of-the-art 6” and 8” compatible micro and nanofabrication equipment in class 10 and 1 clean rooms. The facility is supported by 10 technical staff on the associate to Ph.D. level with cross-disciplinary expertise in the areas of spectroscopy, biology, chemistry, physics, optics, electrical engineering and engineering science. The Nanofab was established to enable advanced interdisciplinary academic and industrial research and development in the semiconductor electronic and optoelectronic, micro and nanoelectromechanical systems (MEMS/NEMS), materials, biological and pharmaceutical fields. It also has a designated NNIN focus on materials and chemical and molecular scale technologies with unique strengths that include surface chemistry, self-assembly, and the fabrication and processing of novel, nontraditional materials such as porous silicon, a-Si:H, deposited low-K and high-K dielectrics, deposited polymer films and novel optoelectronic and piezoelectric ceramics. Operating for over 15 years, the Nanofab has an established performance record of proactively identifying and engaging non-traditional users of nanotechnology and of bringing nanoscience and engineering to new disciplines. The experienced technical staff supports academic and industrial users through comprehensive education and training on instrument operation, process development and integration, and the application of micro and nanofabrication techniques to device, system and process development. The Nanofab staff teaches users to use the facility themselves or provides remote access services to the facility’s extensive established process base.