London Center for Nanotechnology (LCN)
The new London Centre for Nanotechnology is a joint venture of University College London (UCL) and Imperial College London. The LCN brings together the underlying disciplines of engineering, physical sciences and biomedicine which are bridged by nanotechnology. The aim is to provide the nanoscience and nanotechnology needed to solve major problems in information processing, health care, and energy and environment.Opened November 2006, The London Centre for Nanotechnology, LCN, is a new UK based multidisciplinary enterprise operating at the forefront of science and technology. It is a joint venture between University College London and Imperial College London and is based at the Bloomsbury and South Kensington sites. It has a unique operating model that accesses and focusses the combined skills of the departments of chemistry, physics, materials, medicine, electrical and electronic engineering, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering and earth sciences across the two universities.
The Centre occupies a purpose-built eight storey facility in Gordon Street, Bloomsbury, as well as extensive facilities within different departments at South Kensington. LCN researchers have access to state-of-the-art clean-room, characterisation, fabrication, manipulation and design laboratories. This experimental research is complemented by leading edge modelling, visualisation and theory.
LCN has strong relationships with the broader nanotechnology and commercial communities, and is involved in many major collaborations. As the world's only such facility to be located in the heart of a metropolis LCN has superb access to corporate, investment and industrial partners. LCN is at the forefront of training in nanotechnology, and has a strong media presence aimed at educating the public and bringing transparency to this emerging science.
IN-HOUSE FACILITIES AND EXPERTISE
The LCN has a broad range of in-house world class capabilities, that cover areas as diverse as nanotubes and composites, superconductors, organic and carbon nanostructures, nanophotonics, magnetism, novel nanofabrication in III-V, silicon and organic materials, MEMS and various medical diagnostics and therapy based nanotechnologies.
Nano-characterisation: Technologies required to see and understand nanostructures in both the biological and non-biological areas:
• Microscopies using light,electrons and ions as probes, e.g.confocal microscopy,TEM,SEM,X-ray, neutron and other microscopies
• Microscopies based on physically scanned probes, e.g.STM, AFM
• Methods for measuring the nano-electrical, structural, mechanical, rheological, acoustic, thermal and magnetic properties
Ultra-clean laboratories with the ability to produce nano-materials and devices using various biological and non-biological materials:
• Silicon,III-V and other semiconductor fabrication
• Unconventional fabrication – e.g.Organics, Diamond
Techniques and technologies to model, visualize and design nano-scale structures and devices in biological and non-biological areas:
• First principles,atomic/molecular level theory
• Complex visualization and design tools
• Uniquely powerful computational methods
Medicine and Systems:
In order to augment the medical expertise resident within the LCN,the Centre is building links to the vast clinical, bio-medical, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and other specialist medical infrastructure across University College and Imperial College London. This will aid the rapid delivery and uptake of bio-nanotechnology. Key to the effective delivery of ‘realisable‘ and commercially useful nanotechnology is the incorporation of a systems approach.
The LCN lists these among its list of goals for commercialization of multi-disciplined nanotechnology research:
• Si-based quantum computers
• 1GByte nano-volatile MRAM
• Self-assembling electronic/
photonic devices and circuits
• Real space images of
• Label-free, rapid protein and
• Individually tailored drugs and
selective delivery systems
• Trackers for food,pharmaceutical,
& petrochemical industries
• Immuno-compatible bio-tissue
• Mobile-net-based health care
• Low cost 10% efficient solar
cells (1 Watt/$)
• High efficiency, compact fuel cells
• Novel nano-composites
More information on LCN's governance, mission and relationship with government and private companies is available.