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CNST NanoLab Measurement Research Expertise


The Center's Project Leaders apply a broad range of expertise towards creating the next generation of nanoscale measurement instruments and methods, which are made available through collaboration.

image icon mems nems research
Optical Micro/Nanoelectromechanical Systems
Unique, nanofabricated opto-mechanical devices enabling high-precision, high-bandwidth force measurements at the nanoscale, and the ability to structure and tune electromagnetic fields using mechanical actuation.
Contact: Vladimir Aksyuk
  Thumbnail graphic for Environmental Transmission Electron Microscopy
Environmental Transmission Electron Microscopy
Instrumentation that can determine the dynamic, atomic-scale physical and chemical changes occurring during gas-solid interactions at elevated temperatures, including a unique environmental transmission electron microscope.
Renu Sharma  
Icon-Schematic of the PTIR experimental setup
Vibrational Spectroscopy and Microscopy
Innovative measurement methods that combine infrared spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy to determine chemical composition with nanoscale resolution.
Contact: Andrea Centrone
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Methods to simulate, fabricate, and probe (via near-field and far-field techniques) novel nanoscale photonic systems including single-photon sources, signal transducers, and frequency- conversion devices for applications in communications, sensing, and future electronics.
Kartik Srinivasan
image icon for Theory and Modeling of Nanomaterials for Renewal Energy
Theory and Modeling of Nanomaterials for Renewable Energy
Theory and modeling expertise for interpreting next generation measurements on materials for energy applications, including photovoltaics and lithium-ion batteries.
Contact: Paul Haney
  Brightfield optical micrograph of a nanofluidic staircase used to control and measure nanoparticles and biomolecules.
Nanofabricated fluidic devices and advanced fluorescence microscopy systems created and customized to control and measure nanoparticles and biomolecules.
Samuel M. Stavis
In situ Electron Spectroscopy and Microscopy of Nanodevices Icon
In situ Electron Spectroscopy and Microscopy of Nanodevices
Methods and instrumentation for in situ electron and x-ray microscopies and photoelectron spectroscopy, and for electrical measurements of interfaces and of nanodevices functioning in realistic operating environments, including in liquid or dense gaseous media.
Andrei Kolmakov  
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Theory, Modeling, and Simulation of Nanostructures
Fundamental theoretical methods for calculating and elucidating measurements of nanostructures and devices made from materials ranging from ferromagnets to graphene.
Mark Stiles  
image icon nanoplasmonics research
Sophisticated instrumentation, including focused ion beam systems, femtosecond lasers, and a multi-probe scanning near-field optical microscope, that use surface plasmons to study and exploit the physical properties of light and light-matter interactions at deep sub-wavelength dimensions.
Contact: Henri Lezec
  image icon atomic characterization research
Atomic-scale Characterization and Manipulation
Unique, low temperature scanning probe microscopy systems integrated with comprehensive sample preparation and thin-film growth capabilities enabling the atomic and electronic structure of nanostructures and novel materials for future electronics to be determined with unprecedented spatial and energy resolution.
Contact: Joseph Stroscio
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Custom-built super-resolution fluorescence microscopy instrumentation combined with advanced statistical analysis techniques to provide information on the nanoscale structure and chemistry of materials; methods to direct the self-assembly of heterogeneous nanostructures, such as quantum dots and gold nanoparticles, with one nanometer precision.
Contact: J. Alexander Liddle
  Thumbnail for Nanomaterials for Solar Fuels and Artificial Photosynthesis
Nanomaterials for Solar Fuels and Artificial Photosynthesis
In situ and ex situ characterization, primarily based on electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy, of nanostructured solar fuel catalysts and bionanomaterials.
Contact: Veronika Szalai
image icon-sample produced by Atom Optics facility
Laser-atom Manipulation
One-of-a-kind instrumentation for the study and manipulation of materials at the nanoscale using focused ion beams created by a magneto-optical trap ion source, including light-ion microscopy with 30 nm resolution and the ability to implant ions with nanoscale precision. 
Contact: Jabez McClelland

image icon-sample produced by SEMPA facility
Nanomagnetic Imaging
Scanning electron microscopy with polarization analysis, a NIST-developed, spin-sensitive microscopy method that reveals the magnetic structure within materials or devices with nanoscale- resolution and without disturbing sample magnetization, with notable applications in emerging magnetic media and magneto-electronic device development.
Contact: John Unguris
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Nanomagnetic Dynamics
Ferromagnetic resonance force microscopy and complementary tools for measuring the magnetization dynamics in individual magnetic nanostructures in order to advance the development of magnetic nanotechnology. Contact: Robert McMichael

SEM of nano-contacts used to interrogate grains and grain boundaries 
Characterization of Photovoltaic Materials and Devices
A multifaceted tool set for correlating the nanoscale structure and composition of solar cell materials and devices with their functional performance, including near-field optical, electron beam induced current, cathodoluminescence, and photoconductive atomic force microscopies, combined with techniques to pattern nanoscale contacts and create sample cross-sections.
Contact: Nikolai Zhitenev
Image for Nanomechanics Project  Nanomechanics
Methods for device simulation, fabrication, dynamical actuation and fundamental measurements using linear and non-linear dynamics of suspended micro and nanoelectro(opto)mechanical structures with emphasis on fluid structure interactions, chemical and biological sensors, collective behavior, optomechanics, materials properties characterization of ultra-thin films, and 2D materials.
Contact: B. Robert Ilic

Image for Theory and Simulation of the Dynamics and Assembly of Nanostructures Project  Theory and Simulation of the Dynamics and Assembly of Nanostructures
Computational and theoretical techniques to predict properties of molecular nanostructures, the behavior of fluidic devices, and physical response at the nanoscale, and to guide the development of pioneering approaches for sensing and measurement.
Contact: Michael Zwolak