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Nanotechnology Facilities Near Completion

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., Sept. 19 -— A two-story-high, 450-ft-long wall surface hewn from rock -— reminiscent of the 1000-year-old stonework at New Mexico’s Chaco Canyon archaeological site —- cuts across the three laboratory wings of the new core facility of the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies (CINT). The wall’s function is not structural but meant to serve as a visible reminder of New Mexico’s history.

“We wanted to juxtapose high-tech with what we understood of New Mexico’s history -- today’s cutting edge with yesteryear’s,” says Bill Wells, senior architectural project manager of Arizona-based HDR, the building’s design firm.

CINT Rising — The hub facility of the Sandia/Los Alamos joint Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies rises north of Kirtland Air Force Base. The building's three wings house a characterization lab containing vibration-sensitive instruments, a synthesis lab with chemical and biological labs and an integration facility which includes a Class 1000 cleanroom and mobile cleanrooms.
CINT, funded by the US Department of Energy's Office of Science, is a joint venture of Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories (LANL), with the 96,000-sq.-ft core facility expected to act as headwaters from which work will flow as appropriate to LANL’s 35,000-sq.-ft gateway facility in Los Alamos or to Sandia’s gateway facility, housed in a preexisting building at Sandia in Albuquerque.

Construction is on schedule at both labs, with the core facility expected to be physically completed by late November and the LANL gateway by mid-January. All equipment should be installed, and all DoE qualifications met, by March, says Jerry Hands, the project's general technical manager.

The design, which radiates three labs from the curving stone facade like spokes from a wheel, includes sophisticated characterization capabilities in the northernmost wing; physical, chemical and biological synthesis facilities in the middle wing and cleanrooms for nano/micro integration to the south. The final design, says CINT user program manager Neal Shinn, was arrived at through meetings among Los Alamos and Sandia engineers and scientists, who discarded the idea of a more common rectilinear building for the current structure.

Sandia and LANL researchers have worked together before and often, but CINT is the first jointly built project. Teams of engineers and scientists from both labs decide together on equipment that will populate each facility. Researchers from both labs will work at all CINT facilities.

CINT is one of five nanotechnology centers funded by the Office of Science. More than 60 nanotechnology research projects are already ongoing at LANL and Sandia, funded by “jumpstart” funds from the Office of Science and scattered through the two giant labs.

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Sep 2005
The use of atoms, molecules and molecular-scale structures to enhance existing technology and develop new materials and devices. The goal of this technology is to manipulate atomic and molecular particles to create devices that are thousands of times smaller and faster than those of the current microtechnologies.
CINTDOEindustrialLANLnanotechnologyNews & FeaturesSandia

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