Jul. 9, 2012
Nanoscience facility celebrates 35 years with July 19 event
Photonics, magnetics, biotechnology and energy are just a few areas in which the Cornell NanoScale Science and Technology Facility (CNF) has spent more than three decades connecting the brightest researchers with the best tools and expertise to make their scientific ideas real.
On July 19, CNF will celebrate its storied history of cutting-edge nanoscience research and discovery at its 35th anniversary and annual meeting.
Taking place at the Statler Auditorium, the event will feature speakers addressing hot topics in nanoscience, from computation and fabrication to semiconductor nanomaterials for biointegrated electronics.
"We are extremely proud of the many outstanding and very broad-ranging accomplishments of the CNF, and particularly of it consistently being such an interactive and forward-looking facility that has enabled the education of so many young researchers over the years, from both Cornell and across the nation," said Robert Buhrman, senior vice provost for research.
Speakers will include Michal Lipson, professor of electrical and computer engineering, who will talk about manipulating light on a chip; and Jordan Katine, of Hitachi Global Storage Technologies and former Cornell postdoctoral associate, who will describe promising methods for making nanoscale magnetic devices.
The event's keynote speaker will be William Brinkman, director of the Office of Science in the U.S. Department of Energy, who will address "Whither Nanoscience?"
CNF is the flagship center and leader of the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN), a National Science Foundation-supported consortium of 14 nanoscience research centers. CNF officials have reflected on the many ways it has contributed to scientific breakthroughs, economic development and public acceptance of nanotechnology as a key aspect of advanced science.
Over the years, thanks in part to CNF, Cornell has helped "nanotechnology" become a household word: In 1997, a Cornell student used electron beam lithography to etch a red blood cell-sized guitar onto a silicon chip, a feat that garnered worldwide attention.
Cornell and CNF have stayed on the leading edge of nanoscale science. For example, in the last year, a low-pressure chemical vapor deposition machine for making graphene and carbon nanotubes was purchased through a grant, said Donald Tennant, CNF director of operations.
More than 700 researchers use CNF every year, and about half come from outside Cornell. A key goal of CNF is to have a low-overhead, open-access operating model and to level the playing field for researchers with limited resources, Tennant said.
"Good ideas can come from small places, but they don't always have the resources to follow them up," Tennant said. "We make it affordable for them to come here and have first-class facilities to pursue that research idea."
Scientists can perform experiments using CNF's vast array of equipment -- from photolithography and electron beam lithography to scanning electron microscopy.
In 1977 CNF was called the National Research and Resource Facility for Submicron Structures, as it predated common use of the "nano" prefix. With the advent of new techniques and breakthroughs that allowed scientists to explore ever smaller length scales, "nano" was adopted into the title 10 years later, according to "A Brief History of CNF" by Edward Wolf, former director.
"We look forward to CNF continuing to lead in enabling new advances and breakthroughs in nanotechnology for direct economic impact and societal benefit," Buhrman said.
The event is open to all, and registration is required by July 10. For more information and to register online: http://www.cnf.cornell.edu/cnf_35th2012am.html.