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The CNST at a Glance


What We Do:

NIST's Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology (CNST) supports the U.S. nanotechnology enterprise from discovery to production by providing industry, academia, NIST, and other government agencies with access to world-class nanoscale measurement and fabrication methods and technology.

The CNST facility in Gaithersburg, Maryland has a unique design which supports the U.S. nanotechnology enterprise through the readily available shared NanoFab resource, as well as by providing opportunities in its NanoLab for collaborative development of the next generation of nanoscale measurement and fabrication instruments and methods.

The NanoFab is accessible to industry, academia, NIST, and other government agencies on a cost-reimbursable basis. With a simple application process, the NanoFab provides rapid and economical access to a comprehensive suite of commercial tools and processes for nanofabrication and measurement.

While the NanoFab provides access to state-of-the-art commercial tools, the CNST NanoLab also offers opportunities for researchers to collaborate on creating and using the next generation of nanoscale measurement instruments and methods by working directly with the CNST's multidisciplinary scientists and engineers.

Resources (FY 2014)

$34 million annual budget
125 staff (112 technical), Fall 2014

NanoLab: Current Focus Areas for Measurement and Fabrication Research

NanoFab: Key Capabilities

Suite of over 100 nanoscale measurement and fabrication tools, including

  • A large Class 100 cleanroom
  • Two high resolution, large area, electron beam lithography systems
  • High resolution laser pattern generator for on-site patterning and mask generation
  • Three dual beam, focused ion systems
  • Reactive ion etching and atomic layer deposition systems

All tools and processes are supported by expert staff and hands-on user training.