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  • Nanoscale Center Building Underway
May 2005
ARGONNE, Ill., May 2 -- Federal and state officials will visit Argonne National Laboratory May 6 to participate in a cornerstone-laying ceremony for The Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM), a joint Department of Energy (DOE)-State of Illinois project to provide basic nanoscale research that will lead to industrial and commercial applications.

The CNM will be open to academia, industry and other government laboratories, through a peer-reviewed process, to develop advanced instrumentation for creating novel materials that provide new insights at the nanoscale level, including fabricating and exploring novel nanoscale materials and, ultimately, using unique synthesis and characterization methods to control and tailor nanoscale phenomena. The basic scientific research at CNM is expected to lead to novel, environmentally safe products and applications such as energy generation, advanced biosensors, converting light energy into therapeutic processes, electron/photon maninipulation, information processing and storage, optics and detection of biological agents.

BIO-INORGANICS: Image of a titanium molecule with DNA strands attached. This kind of bio-inorganic composite molecule could enable new technolgies to treat disease and is an example of research to be conducted at the Center for Nanoscale Materials.
   The facility is being built next to the Advanced Photon Source, a national synchrotron-radiation light source research facility. The 85,000-square-foot CNM building will house research instruments, laboratories, clean rooms and work space.

CNM's first dedicated instrument will be a pioneering nanoprobe beam line -- a hard x-ray microscopy beamline with the highest spatial resolution in the world -- that combines fluorescence, diffraction and transmission imaging at a spatial resolution of 30 nanometers or better. The nanoprobe will be able to penetrate samples in situ and provide information about their internal structures. An electron-beam lithography facility will provide fabrication support to CNM users, including a 100-kilovolt electron-beam lithography tool, one of a handful of such devices in the country. The center will also feature an Argonne-developed nanopositioning system for precision motion and measurement.

The State of Illinois is providing $36 million to construct the building, and DOE is providing an additional $36 million to develop and build the facility's advanced instrumentation. Argonne's CNM is one of five centers being built at national laboratories across the country as part of DOE's Nanoscale Science Research Center program under the Office of Basic Energy Sciences.

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