National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
The NIST Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology (CNST) supports the U.S. nanotechnology enterprise from discovery to production by providing industry, academia, NIST, and other government agencies with access to world-class nanoscale measurement and fabrication methods and technology. The CNST is the only national nanocenter with a focus on commerce.
The Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology (CNST) was established in May of 2007 to accelerate innovation in nanotechnology-based commerce. Located in NIST's Advanced Measurement Laboratory Complex on the Gaithersburg, MD campus, the CNST supports the development of nanotechnology by providing access to and training on world-class nanoscale measurement and fabrication methods and technology. It is the only national nanocenter with a focus on commerce.
The CNST's shared-use NanoFab gives researchers economical access to and training on a state-of-the-art tool set required for cutting-edge nanotechnology development. The simple application process is designed to get projects started in a few weeks.
The CNST facility has a unique design which supports the U.S. nanotechnology enterprise through the readily available shared NanoFab resource, as well as by providing opportunities for collaborative development of new nanoscale measurement instruments and methods.
The NanoFab is accessible to industry, academia, NIST, and other government agencies on a cost-reimbursable basis. With a simple application process, the NanoFab provides rapid and economical access to a comprehensive suite of tools and processes for nanofabrication and measurement.
While the NanoFab provides access to state-of-the-art commercial tools, CNST research is creating the next generation of nanoscale measurement instruments and fabrication methods, which are made available through collaboration with our multidisciplinary scientists and engineers.
The CNST’s NanoFab houses a multi-million dollar suite of state-of-the-art nanofabrication and nanomeasurement equipment. This equipment is selected to provide our users with a high degree of flexibility with tomorrow’s technologies . All of the tools within the CNST NanoFab are designed to accommodate a wide variety of materials and substrate sizes from small pieces to conventional size wafers. Tools include:
Lithography: Tools to provide nanoscale image transfer with consistent repeatability and throughput. An ultra high resolution Electron Beam Lithography System from Vistec (formally Leica) provides for direct write nanoscale feature development and mask writing capability from small samples up to 300 mm substrates. A second E-beam lithography tool, JEOL-6300, is designed for direct writing on wafers with a 2nm spot size on substrate up150x190mm in size. A state-of-the-art Nano-imprint lithography system from Nanonex produces nanoscale features in soft materials from a hard mask made using the CNST NanoFab’s Vistec E-beam writer.
Specialty Tools: A Zeiss NVision 40 Focused Ion Beam combines a FIB and a Gemini SEM to enable a variety of nanotech capabilities.
Post Process: Tools to bring nanoscale fabricated devices to the test bench and finally to the customer.
Furnaces/CVD: Tools for nanoscale film deposition with high purity, excellent uniformity and stress control.
Dry Etch: Tools to transfer photolithographic nanoscale imaging into hard thin film materials eliminating the use of hazardous liquid chemistries.
Metal Deposition: Tools to provide a wide variety of metal applications to create electrical contacts, magnetic devices and masking materials.
Wet Chemistry: Tools to clean and etch materials in a controlled, safe environment.
Inspection: High magnification optical microscopes with image capture, FESEM, ellipsometry, profilometry, and electrical parametric testing.
Looking beyond the current state of the art, CNST research is creating the next generation of nanoscale measurement instruments and methods, which are made available through collaboration.