About the Nebraska Nanoscale Facility

Photo of the building housing the Nebraska Nanoscale Facility.

The Nebraska Nanoscale Facility (NNF) is the result of a nearly $3.5-million NSF grant to establish a regional center of excellence in nanoscience and nanotechnology. First awarded in 2015, the grant was renewed for another five years in 2020, ensuring its continuation through at least 2025.

NNF is one of 16 centers created under the NSF’s National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI), which is a nationwide network of sites whose goal is to provide the US with the research and educational infrastructure for transformative advances in fabrication, understanding and utilization of novel nanostructures, materials and devices.

The vision of NNF is to be an internationally recognized center of excellence for nanoscience and an NNCI research hub for integrated fabrication, characterization and education in nanotechnology for the western region of the United States’ Midwest area. NNF includes eight central and shared facilities that are available to academic, industrial, and governmental users with expert staff available for training, process consultation, and collaboration. Most NNF laboratories are located in the 32,000 sq. ft. Voelte-Keegan Nanoscience Research Center that was completed in 2012 and others in the attached Jorgensen Hall constructed in 2010.

Facilities include state-of-the art equipment for nanometer-scale characterization of materials surface and physical properties; hands-on access to electron microscopes, sample preparation equipment plus data collection and data reduction instrumentation; materials identification and characterization through x-ray diffraction techniques; three-dimensional characterization of nanostructures using electron beam imaging, chemical analysis, and diffraction; and a 4,000 square foot cleanroom for designing, fabricating, characterizing and testing of complex nano/micro-scale structures and devices.

The present largest and strongest research areas of NNF users are nanomagnetics, nanoelectronics and sensors, and nanomaterials for energy. Basic research areas include synthesis, characterization & modeling of nanoscale materials/ structures, fundamental properties of electronic, magnetic, structural materials at the nanoscale, emerging interface phenomena, and new functionalities not present in bulk materials. Research areas relevant to applications include nanomaterials for energy technologies, ultra high-density data-storage media, nonvolatile memories and logic, nanoelectronics and spintronics, field and chemical sensors, and nano manufacturing.