Jan. 20, 2009

Nanotech facility receives five-year renewal grant from NSF

Cornell NanoScale Science and Technology Facility (CNF) has received another five years of funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The facility, which is the flagship of Cornell's cutting-edge nanotechnology research, is one of 14 such research facilities across the country that make up the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN). CNF is set to receive $2.68 million per year for the next five years, said George Malliaras, the Lester B. Knight Director of CNF. The NNIN receives $17 million per year of federal funds.

CNF funding from New York state, administered through the Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research, has also been renewed to the tune of $500,000 per year for five years. Additional support comes from Cornell and from industry partners, as well as user fees.

The renewal of funding was "fantastic" news for CNF, Malliaras said, especially given the economic climate and the cutbacks that scientific research funding has faced in recent years. The NSF funding actually increased slightly, he said, while the state grant remained level.

CNF has been on a major drive for state-of-the-art equipment; in the past two years, 18 new nanofabrication tools have been acquired by the facility. Among them are an atomic layer deposition machine, an imprint lithography tool and a carbon nanotube growth system, according to Malliaras.